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The number of loans within commercial mortgage-backed securities coming due next year is set to drop 40%, according to Fitch Ratings. Analysts said about 1,200 commercial loans worth $17.3 billion in CMBS transactions rated by Fitch mature next year, down from 2,000 loans worth $22.5 billion that mature this year. Loans scheduled to mature in 2012 have an average balance of $13.9 million and were originated between 1996 and 2007, according to Fitch, which expects the majority of loans to payoff despite the short-term volatility of the capital markets. "Most maturing loans, particularly those from earlier vintages, benefit from stable performance and years of scheduled amortization, which make them more easily financeable in today' market," Fitch Senior Director Adam Fox said. He said loans written after 2007 are the most challenging to refinance and borrowers "will likely need to contribute additional equity to secure financing for five-year loans." Analysts said commercial loans maturing in 2013 remain modest at $13.3 billion with another $15.5 billion maturing in 2014. Then in 2015, some $29 billion of commercial mortgages within CMBS mature, according to Fitch. Analysts said commercial loan servicers continue to work with borrowers when property performance is not an issue. "Servicers are still reaching out to borrowers early and if needed, providing short term forbearances to complete the refinance process," Fox said. Write to Jason Philyaw. Follow him on Twitter: @jrphilyaw

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