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Stories about commercial lending on multifamily, office, retail and industrial properties.

CRE Lates Give Mixed Signals

Commercial mortgage delinquency reports

March 3, 2011

By staff

In most corners of commercial mortgage banking, delinquency has deteriorated. But signs of life are emerging.

At banks and thrifts, commercial mortgage delinquency of at least 90 days was 4.19 percent in the fourth quarter, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported in its fourth-quarter 2010 report on mortgage delinquency for major investor groups.

The rate was better than the third quarter's 4.41 percent. But defaults on commercial real estate loans have deteriorated from 3.92 percent at the end of 2009.

"The delinquency rates for commercial and multifamily mortgages at banks and thrifts appear to have peaked at levels well below those of the last recession," Jamie Woodwell, vice president of commercial real estate research, said in the report.

Delinquency of at least 30 days, including real estate owned, on securitized commercial mortgages finished last year at 8.95. It was the highest rate since the series started in 1997.

Late payments on commercial mortgage-backed securities climbed from 8.58 percent three months earlier and leapt from just 5.70 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009.

"The CMBS market has continued
to see elevated levels of stress -- although the rate of increase has moderated and some technical issues make a direct comparison of CMBS to other investor groups tricky," Woodwell explained.

Moody's Investors Service reported that CMBS delinquency climbed to 9.01 percent in January from 8.79 percent on Dec. 31, 2010.

More recently, in February, the 30-day CMBS delinquency rate climbed 5 basis points from January to 9.39 percent, Trepp LLC reported. The latest tally represented about $61.8 billion in mortgages.

It was "the highest in history for U.S. commercial real estate loans in CMBS," though it was "one of the smallest month-over-month increases since the beginning of the credit crisis over two years ago."

Trepp said that industrial mortgage defaults were 32 BPS higher, while office delinquency was up 22 BPS and retail real estate loans rose 9 BPS. But multifamily mortgage lates were 24 BPS better last month, falling to 16.6 percent, and lodging loans improved 47 BPS to 14.61 percent.

At life insurance companies, commercial mortgage delinquency of at least 60 days fell to 0.19 percent from the prior quarter's 0.22 percent, MBA reported. Life insurer delinquency was 0.19 percent in the fourth-quarter 2009.

Fannie Mae's multifamily delinquency of at least 60 days finished last year at 0.71 percent, higher than the third quarter's 0.65 percent and the fourth-quarter 2009's 0.63 percent.

At rival Freddie Mac, the multifamily rate retreated to 0.31 percent from 0.35 percent but was higher than 0.20 percent in the final quarter of 2009. In January, Freddie's multifamily lates were 0.28 percent.

An earlier report from MBA indicated that $155 billion of the $1.4 trillion in outstanding commercial real estate loans owned by non-banks is set to mature this year. Next year, another $125 billion is scheduled to mature.

Around 12 percent of securitized loans will come due this year, while just 3 percent of agency multifamily loans will come due. Around 7 percent of life insurer holdings will come due.

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