The credit outlook for the rest of 2012 appears to be improving, as lenders and borrowers alike appear more confident in a capital market recovery, according to National Real Estate Investor's annual Borrower Trends Survey. The report found more than half of lender - 56 percent - and nearly as many borrowers - 44 percent - predict the flow of credit to improve and become widely available this year. "Clearly, 2011 was a very active year, on the loan origination side, as well as on the acquisition side," said Michael Melody, executive managing director at Jones Lang LaSalle Capital Markets. "We're working off of benchmarks that are at or near historic lows in an environment where there is still plenty of capital chasing the highest quality business." According to New York-based Real Capital Analytics, the volume of commercial and multifamily sales transactions rose 29 percent last year to reach $162.8 billion. The report adds that low interest rates have spurred minor upticks in demand. However, the overall housing market remains mired in stagnation. Lenders have adopted consumer credit risk management standards to cushion themselves against excessive risk.