Commercial and multifamily mortgage debt outstanding was up 2.5% in the first quarter to $3.001 trillion, crossing the $3 trillion threshold, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.Multifamily mortgage debt alone rose to $741 billion, an increase of 1.6% from that of the fourth quarter. The securitization sector -- issuers of commercial mortgage-backed securities, collateralized debt obligations, and other asset-backed securities -- accounted for almost 60% of the increase in commercial and multifamily debt outstanding, the MBA reported. "Looking just at the multifamily market, CMBS, CDO, and other ABS issuers were responsible for a full 70% of the growth," said Jamie Woodwell, the MBA's senior director of commercial and multifamily research. Although commercial banks are reported holding the largest share of the debt outstanding, their holdings include loans on commercial properties, as well as loans backed by commercial real estate. The MBA can be found online at http://www.mortgagebankers.org.

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