Despite a surge in residential loan delinquency, commercial mortgages have been performing well -- especially those held by life insurance companies. Commercial loans held by banks and thrifts were among the worst performers.
Those were the findings of an analysis of fourth quarter commercial mortgage delinquency by investor group released by the Mortgage Bankers Association yesterday.
Of the 34,937 commercial real estate loans held by life insurance companies for $245 billion, just 9 loans for $19 million were at least 60 days past due -- bringing the delinquency rate to 0.01 percent on Dec. 31, 2007, MBA reported. The rate was lower than 0.03 percent at the end of the third quarter and 0.02 percent on Dec. 31, 2006.
Freddie Mac's 60-day delinquency rate on commercial mortgages was 0.02 percent at the end of 2007, down from 0.06 percent on Oct. 31 and 0.05 percent a year earlier, the data indicated. Fannie Mae's 60-day delinquency was 0.08 percent, unchanged from the prior quarter and prior year. MBA said delinquency at both companies was equal to or lower than the rate in 10 of the previous 11 years.
Commercial loans backing commercial mortgage-backed securities finished the fourth quarter with a 30-day delinquency rate of 0.40 percent, up from 0.33 percent in the third quarter but better than 0.41 percent at the end of 2006, the report said. MBA noted the latest CMBS delinquency level was lower than at year-end of 9 of the previous 10 years.
But banks and thrifts, which held $1.2 trillion in commercial mortgages, fared worse. Delinquency of at least 90 days was $9 billion for 0.80 percent on Dec. 31, climbing from 0.72 percent 90 days earlier and 0.56 percent a year earlier, MBA said. Had 30- or 60-day delinquency been reported for this group as it was for the other groups, the level of delinquency would have been higher. But MBA noted delinquency at banks and thrifts was actually lower than it was during 5 of the previous 11 years.
Commercial mortgage delinquency starkly contrasts residential delinquency, which MBA reported at 5.82 percent excluding foreclosures as of Dec. 31.
"It is reassuring to know that the performance of commercial and multifamily mortgage loans and bonds has remained so fundamentally sound," Steve Graves, chair of MBA's Commercial Board of Governors, said in the announcement.