Commercial and multifamily debt keeps rising, increasing by $51.9 billion in the second quarter of 2019.

The level of mortgage debt rose 1.5% in the second quarter, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Debt Outstanding quarterly report.

At the end of the first half of 2019, total commercial and multifamily debt outstanding stood at $3.5 trillion. But multifamily mortgage debt alone increased by 1.7% or $24.4 billion in the first quarter to $1.5 trillion.

“Strong borrowing and lending, coupled with relatively low levels of loan maturities, are helping to boost the amount of commercial and multifamily mortgage debt outstanding,” said Jamie Woodwell, MBA vice president of commercial real estate research. “All four major capital sources increased their holdings during the quarter. With strong demand expected to continue, debt levels are likely to climb even more and end the year at a new high.”

Commercial banks continue to hold the largest share at 39% of commercial and multifamily mortgages or $1.4 trillion. Agency and GSE portfolios and MBS are the second largest holders at 20% or $703 billion, followed by life insurance companies at 15% or $539 billion.

But life insurance companies are set to create a surge in multifamily lending in 2020. This should help propel multifamily originations, which are set to hit yet another all-time high in 2020, according to the MBA.

Just last month, the MBA announced multifamily continues to soar, rising to an all-time high in 2018 in terms of dollar volume.

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