MBA recently released its First Quarter 2018 Commercial/Multifamily DataBook.

Highlights include:

  • The U.S. economy continued its strong performance during Q1 of 2018. Real GDP grew at seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.0 percent and job growth has continued, with an unemployment rate that has fallen to 3.8 percent and there are now more job openings than there are unemployed. The tight labor market has pushed hourly wages up 2.7 percent over the last year, one of the highest readings since 2009.
  • New construction activity remains robust, with some 600,000 multifamily units under construction – a level not seen since the mid-1970s.
  • During the first three months of 2018, commercial and multifamily mortgage debt outstanding increased more than during any other Q1 since before the Great Recession. Interestingly, Q1 holdings grew more slowly this year than last among the three largest investor groups: banks, life insurance companies and the GSEs. This year’s increase was driven by the CMBS market, which added $6 billion of mortgages to its balances.
  • Mortgages backed by commercial and multifamily properties continue to perform extremely well. Delinquency rates are at or near their all-time lows across most capital sources. This continues to be driven by strong property fundamentals, increasing property values, still-low mortgage rates and readily available financing.