The amount of commercial and multifamily mortgage debt outstanding rose to a record high in the third quarter, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Through the third quarter, there was $2.59 trillion of commercial/multifamily debt outstanding, up $28.6 billion from the quarter before.

Multifamily mortgage debt outstanding accounted for $940 billion of the overall amount, the Washington-based trade group said. This figure is $16 billion more than the second quarter and represents the highest rise in seven years.

"Strong originations are more than outpacing the low volume of loans maturing this year," said Jamie Woodwell, vice president of commercial real estate research for the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The MBA said that commercial banks hold 37%, or $944 billion, of the total commercial and multifamily mortgage debt. Commercial mortgage-backed securities, collateralized debt obligations and other asset-backed securities account for $535 billion, or 21% of the total. Furthermore, agency and GSE portfolios and mortgage-backed securities hold $400 billion, which is 15% of the total, while life insurance companies consist of 14% of the total amount with $351 billion.

Banks and thrifts saw the biggest quarter-over-quarter increase in their holdings of commercial/multifamily mortgage debt, up $13.7 billion, the MBA revealed. Meanwhile, agency and GSE portfolios and MBS saw their holdings grow by $7.8 billion compared to the prior quarter. Life insurance companies elevated their holdings by $5.5 billion. Conversely, REITs had the largest decrease, down $2.1 billion.

The MBA analysis is based on data from the Federal Reserve Board's Financial Accounts of the U.S., the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s quarterly banking profile and data from Wells Fargo Securities.

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