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Office Loans Drive Up CMBS Defaults

2012 performance projected to be similar to 2011

April 27, 2012

By staff

With commercial real estate loans on office properties leading the way, quarterly defaults on securitized commercial mortgages increased during the first-three months of 2012. But the good news is that performance for all of this year is expected to be in line with 2011.

Cumulative defaults on commercial mortgage-backed securities were 12.96 percent during the first quarter.

Defaults reflect loans that were at least 60 days past due one or more times from Jan. 1 through March 31.

Compared to the fourth-quarter 2011, the CMBS delinquency rate was up 25 basis points.

Fitch Ratings, which reported the figures, noted that the increase was expected.

"Fitch expects the pace of new defaults in 2012 to be relatively stable to 2011 levels," the New York-based company forecasted.

The findings were based on CMBS issued between 1993 and 2011. The deals observed amount to $564 billion.

Newly defaulted CMBS loans totaled $1.7 billion in the first quarter, according to Fitch.

Nearly half of new defaults -- 49 percent -- were mortgages secured by office properties. The ratings agency indicated that the office category led defaults last year.

Another 29 percent of new first-quarter defaults were retail properties.

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