Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Debt Ends Year Strong, Despite CMBS Decline

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 22, 2017) – (RealEstateRama) — The level of commercial/multifamily mortgage debt outstanding increased by $46.0 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016, as three of the four major investor groups increased their holdings.  That is a 1.6 percent increase over the third quarter of 2016.    On a year-over-year basis, the amount of mortgage debt outstanding at the end of 2016 was $162.0 billion higher than at the end of 2015, an increase of 5.8 percent.

Total commercial/multifamily debt outstanding rose to $2.96 trillion at the end of the fourth quarter.  Multifamily mortgage debt outstanding rose to $1.14 trillion, an increase of $27.3 billion, or 2.4 percent, from the third of quarter of 2016.

“Commercial and multifamily mortgage debt outstanding grew roughly in line with property values in 2016,” said Jamie Woodwell, MBA’s Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Research.  “With property values up eight percent, the amount of mortgage debt outstanding grew six percent.  Looking just at multifamily properties, an 11 percent increase in property values was met with a ten percent increase in mortgage debt.”

“After years of property prices outpacing mortgage debt growth, we expect the two to move in concert going forward. During the recession, property prices declined by roughly 40%.  Because debt is ‘stickier’ and outstanding loan balances don’t automatically adjust to changes in prices, MDO remained stable.  In the years since, prices bounced back and now exceed their pre-recession levels, while MDO – which hadn’t declined – rose at a much slower pace.  The ratio between the two is now back to where it was before the recession,” Woodwell continued.

The four major investor groups are: bank and thrift; commercial mortgage backed securities (CMBS), collateralized debt obligation (CDO) and other asset backed securities (ABS) issues; federal agency and government sponsored enterprise (GSE) portfolios and mortgage backed securities (MBS);  and life insurance companies.

The analysis summarizes the holdings of loans or, if the loans are securitized, the form of the security.  For example, many life insurance companies invest both in whole loans for which they hold the mortgage note (and which appear in this data under Life Insurance Companies) and in CMBS, CDOs and other ABS for which the security issuers and trustees hold the note (and which appear here under CMBS, CDO and other ABS issues).

Commercial banks continue to hold the largest share of commercial/multifamily mortgages, $1.2 trillion, or 40 percent of the total.

Agency and GSE portfolios and MBS are the second largest holders of commercial/multifamily mortgages, holding $521 billion, or 18 percent of the total.  CMBS, CDO and other ABS issues hold $459 billion, or 16 percent of the total, and life insurance companies hold $420 billion, or 14 percent of the total.  Many life insurance companies, banks and the GSEs purchase and hold CMBS, CDO and other ABS issues.  These loans appear in the “CMBS, CDO and other ABS” category.

MULTIFAMILY MORTGAGE DEBT OUTSTANDING

Looking solely at multifamily mortgages, agency and GSE portfolios and MBS hold the largest share, with $521 billion, or 46 percent of the total multifamily debt outstanding.  They are followed by banks and thrifts with $383 billion, or 34 percent of the total.  State and local government hold $92 billion, or 8 percent of the total; life insurance companies hold $66 billion, or 6 percent of the total; CMBS, CDO and other ABS issues hold $47 billion, or 4 percent of the total, and nonfarm noncorporate business holds $13 billion, or one percent of the total.

CHANGES IN COMMERCIAL/MULTIFAMILY MORTGAGE DEBT OUTSTANDING

In the fourth quarter of 2016, banks and thrifts saw the largest increase in dollar terms in their holdings of commercial/multifamily mortgage debt – an increase of $26.8 billion, or 2.3 percent.  Agency and GSE portfolios and MBS increased their holdings by $21.3 billion, or 4.3 percent, and life insurance companies increased their holdings by $6.5 billion, or 1.6 percent.  CMBS, CDO and other ABS issues saw the largest decrease at $8.4 billion, or down 1.8 percent.

In percentage terms, other insurance companies saw the largest increase in their holdings of commercial/multifamily mortgages, an increase of 6.5 percent.  REITs saw their holdings decrease 4.8 percent.

CHANGES IN MULTIFAMILY MORTGAGE DEBT OUTSTANDING

The $27.3 billion increase in multifamily mortgage debt outstanding between the third and fourth quarters of 2016 represents a 2.4 percent increase.  In dollar terms, agency and GSE portfolios and MBS saw the largest increase in their holdings of multifamily mortgage debt, an increase of $21.3 billion, or 4.3 percent.  Commercial banks increased their holdings of multifamily mortgage debt by $8.5 billion, or 2.3 percent.  Life insurance companies increased by $953 million, or 1.5 percent.  CMBS, CDO and other ABS issues saw the largest decline in their holdings of multifamily mortgage debt, by $4.1 billion, or down 8.0 percent.

In percentage terms, REITs recorded the largest increase in holdings of multifamily mortgages, at 5.2 percent.  CMBS, CDO and other ABS issues saw the biggest decrease at 8.0 percent.

CHANGES IN COMMERCIAL/MULTIFAMILY MORTGAGE DEBT OUTSTANDING DURING 2016

Between December 2015 and December 2016, commercial banks and thrifts saw the largest increase in dollar terms in their holdings of commercial/multifamily mortgage debt – an increase of $115 billion, or 11 percent.  CMBS, CDO and other ABS issues decreased their holdings of commercial/multifamily mortgages by $56.5 billion, or 11 percent.

In percentage terms, other insurance companies saw the largest increase in their holdings of commercial/multifamily mortgages, an increase of 28 percent.  State and local government retirement funds saw the largest decrease, at 30 percent.

CHANGES IN MULTIFAMILY MORTGAGE DEBT OUTSTANDING DURING 2016

The $99.6 billion increase in multifamily mortgage debt outstanding during 2016 represents a 9.6 percent increase.  In dollar terms, Agency and GSE portfolios and MBS saw the largest increase in their holdings of multifamily mortgage debt – an increase of $67.6 billion, or 15 percent.  CMBS, CDO and other ABS issues saw a decrease of $14.7 billion in their holdings, or 24 percent.

In percentage terms, REITs recorded the largest increase in their holdings of multifamily mortgages, 19 percent, while state and local government retirement funds saw the largest decrease, 34 percent.

MBA’s complete Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Debt Outstanding report can be downloaded here. MBA’s analysis is based on data from the Federal Reserve Board’s Financial Accounts of the United States, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Quarterly Banking Profile and data from Wells Fargo Securities.  More information on this data series is contained in Appendix A.

CONTACT
Ali Ahmad

(202) 557- 2727

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) is the national association representing the real estate finance industry, an industry that employs more than 280,000 people in virtually every community in the country. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the association works to ensure the continued strength of the nation’s residential and commercial real estate markets; to expand homeownership and extend access to affordable housing to all Americans. MBA promotes fair and ethical lending practices and fosters professional excellence among real estate finance employees through a wide range of educational programs and a variety of publications. Its membership of over 2,400 companies includes all elements of real estate finance: mortgage companies, mortgage brokers, commercial banks, thrifts, Wall Street conduits, life insurance companies and others in the mortgage lending field.

Contact:

Mortgage Bankers Association
1331 L Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005

Phone: (202) 557-2700

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