David Durning (Photo: PGIM) David Durning (Photo: PGIM)

PGIM Real Estate Finance — the commercial mortgage finance arm of Prudential Financial Inc.’s PGIM unit — says it originated $8.1 billion in commercial mortgage financing in the first half of the year and is out to use up about $7 billion more in lending capacity in the second half.

Both industrial lending and multifamily lending were strong, the unit says.

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The unit provided about $7.5 billion in financing in the United States, and about $622 million in financing for deals outside the United States.

The unit did not provide detailed production figures for the first half of 2017, but David Durning, the unit’s chief executive officer, called the first half “very strong.”

“In the second half of the year, we plan to build on this momentum and target key sectors such as industrial and multifamily, which we believe will be the best performers at this point in an elongated real estate cycle,” Durning said in a statement.

The unit did say that industrial mortgage origination was 33% higher in the latest half than in the comparable half of 2017.

The unit reported a year ago that it had originated about $1.2 billion in industrial mortgage financing in the first half of 2017.

Calculations suggest that industrial mortgage lending may account for about $1.6 billion of the total for the first half of this year.

The unit says multifamily originations accounted for $2.5 billion of originations in the first half of this year, up from about $1.6 billion in the first half of 2017.

Second-Half Target List

PGIM Real Estate Finance says it will focus new multifamily mortgage financing at middle-market borrowers, partly because it believes a housing shortage makes that category particularly strong.

The unit says it’s also interested in making more deals with the federal mortgage finance agencies.

In the industrial market, the company is seeing growth coming from owners that want to renovate or upgrade their properties.

Why Life Insurers Make Mortgage Loans

Life insurers need to invest trillions of dollars in assets to support the life insurance policies, annuity contracts and other products they sell.

They see mortgage lending as a relatively safe way to increase investment yields during a period of low interest rates.

In 2016, U.S. life insurers had about 11% of their own general account assets invested in mortgages, according to the American Council of Life Insurers.

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