Total commercial/multifamily debt outstanding rose to $3.21 trillion at the end of the first quarter, up by 1.4 percent from the fourth quarter. Multifamily mortgage debt outstanding hit $1.3 trillion, an increase of $19.3 billion, or 1.5 percent, from the fourth quarter.
Commercial banks held the largest share of commercial/multifamily mortgages, $1.3 trillion, or 40 percent, followed by agency portfolios, GSE portfolios and mortgage-backed securities, holding $617 billion, or 19 percent. Life insurance companies accounted for $471 billion (15 percent), while CMBS, CDO and other ABS issues held $446 billion (14 percent).
"During the first three months of 2018, commercial and multifamily mortgage debt outstanding increased more than during any other first quarter since before the Great Recession," said MBA Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Research Jamie Woodwell. "Interestingly, first quarter holdings grew more slowly this year than last among the three largest investor groups: banks, life insurance companies and the GSEs. This year's increase was driven by the CMBS market, which added $6 billion of mortgages to its balances. This is a sharp contrast to the $21 billion decline over the same period in 2017. For the first time since 2007, CMBS has seen three straight quarters of increase."