Total commercial and multifamily mortgage debt outstanding increased in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Commercial and multifamily debt rose 2.2% to $2.83 trillion at the end of the fourth quarter, compared to the third quarter. Multifamily mortgage debt rose 3.4% to $1.06 trillion.

Commercial banks held 38% of commercial and multifamily mortgages, the largest share of the total. Commercial mortgage-backed securities, collateralized debt obligations and other asset-backed securities held the second-highest amount, with 18%.

Federal agencies and government-sponsored enterprises had the third-highest at 16%. Life insurance companies held the fourth-highest, at 14%.

"During 2015, commercial and multifamily mortgage debt grew by the largest amount since the series began in 2007," Jamie Woodwell, vice president for commercial real estate research at the MBA, said in a Tuesday news release.

"The amount of commercial and multifamily mortgage debt held in agency and GSE portfolios and MBS, and on bank balance sheets, grew more than in any previous year on record," he adde

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