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CMBS Delinquency Takes Breather

S&P review credits low rates for decline

November 4, 2002

By MortgageDaily.com staff

Delinquency rates on commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) took a welcomed tumble in the third quarter, according to Tuesday's edition of CMBS Quarterly Review.

Among the reasons for the decline were low interest rates, which is softening the impact of decreasing property cash flow, the review said. The review was released by credit analysts Roy Chun and Larry Kay of Standard & Poor's (S&P) Structured Finance Real Estate group.

The relative stability of delinquency rates can be attributed to various factors, it said.

"With borrowers benefiting from property appreciations during the past few years prior to the recent downturn and low cap rates that are keeping property valuations up, borrowers are protecting their equity investment in the face of declining property cash flows," said Chun, a director in the Structured Finance Surveillance group. "The declines are the result of reduced base rents due to higher vacancy rates in all the major property types and rental concessions that are becoming more widespread."

After the second quarter's flat delinquency rate of 2.05%, the third quarter's rate fell to 1.9%, approaching 2001 levels, the review said. Health care and office delinquencies declined, while retail and multifamily delinquencies increased.

In third quarter 2001, S&P announced the delinquency rate for pooled commercial mortgage-backed securities transactions increased 12% from the previous quarter. The increase was attributed to several large unresolved delinquent loan carry overs from previous quarters, in addition to newer delinquencies. But while the delinquency rates for mortgages in the major property sectors had increased in prior months, they remained below 1.5% on average, the announcement said.

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