MBA Chart of the Week: Change in Outstanding Balance of Commercial, Multifamily Mortgages

Levels of commercial and multifamily mortgage debt have been growing more slowly than property prices in recent years, realigning debt and equity since prices fell during and after the Great Recession. 

But even so, the level of mortgage debt outstanding has grown rapidly, with commercial and multifamily mortgage debt outstanding increasing by 7 percent during 2015 and multifamily mortgage debt alone growing by 10 percent.

Accompanying the growth has been a shift in the balance of where that debt is held.  As commercial mortgage-backed securities loans mature and pay down and new issuance remains subdued, the balance of commercial and multifamily mortgages in CMBS has declined–falling 3.5 percent in 2015. At the same time, life insurance companies, banks and GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have increased their holdings (or outstanding issuance in the case of the GSEs) significantly, by 8.0 percent, 11.4 percent and 11.7 percent respectively. As noted in a recent Research Datanote, a variety of market, regulatory and other changes ranging from risk retention rules to multifamily lending caps to regulatory guidance to capital requirements could affect different sectors’ appetites over the remainder of the year.

To view the Chart of the Week, click  

(Jamie Woodwell is Vice President of Commercial/Multifamily Research with the Mortgage Bankers Association; he can be reached at