Despite market volatility, recent weak performance and widening swap spreads, commercial mortgage-backed securities experts predict that the sector is becoming more popular than ever, with a hearty supply of significant deals slated for the remainder of the year and record issuance levels for the second quarter.

According to Michael Youngblood, managing director of real estate for Banc of America Securities, July 1999 issuance represents the third-highest monthly issuance ever for CMBS, and the issuance of $20.9 billion for the second quarter is the third- highest quarterly issuance ever.

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