U.S. Commercial, Multifamily Mortgage Debt Grew in Late 2019

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's latest Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Debt Outstanding quarterly report, the level of U.S. commercial and multifamily mortgage debt outstanding at the end of 2019 was $248 billion (7.3 percent) higher than at the end of 2018.  MBA's report found that total mortgage debt outstanding in the final three months of 2019 rose by 2.1 percent ($75.0 billion) compared to last year's third quarter, with all four major investor groups increasing their holdings. Multifamily mortgage debt grew by $30.4 billion (2.0 percent) to $1.53 trillion during the fourth quarter, and by $116.7 billion (8.2 percent) for the entire year. "In 2019, the amount of mortgage debt backed by commercial and multifamily properties grew by the largest annual amount since before the Global Financial Crisis," said Jamie Woodwell, MBA's Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Research. "Every major capital source increased their holdings, and some by double digits. Continuing the recent trend, the growth in multifamily mortgage debt outpaced that of other property types." Added Woodwell, "Looking ahead, a key question will be how the coronavirus and related economic shocks will affect the market's momentum in 2020. At this point it is still too early to tell."

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