It’s one thing to post an increase. But it’s a whole different ball game when you can post a 42 percent increase year-over-year. And that’s exactly what Freddie Mac did in 2012 for its volumes in loan purchases and bond guarantees for multifamily.

The GSE announced on Wednesday that it had a record $28.8 billion in multifamily activity in 2012, which includes financing more than 1,600 properties and 435,000 units. To put that in perspective, the previous record was $24 billion in 2008. And in 2011, it was only $20.3 billion.

The 2012 totals for Freddie Mac include $650 million in seniors housing mortgages, $1.7 billion in student housing mortgages, and a total of $25 billion under its Capital Markets Execution program, or 88 percent of the total new purchase volume.

"It was a phenomenal year for us and the sellers and servicers in our network. In the fourth quarter we completed about 33 percent of our yearly volume, approximately $10 billion in multifamily mortgages," said David Brickman, senior vice president of Freddie Mac Multifamily.