CMBS delinquencies dip for first time since January: Morningstar
Delinquencies on commercial mortgage-backed securities dipped 1.5% in May, the first decrease since January, according to credit ratings agency Morningstar. The delinquent unpaid balance on loans backing CMBS totaled $62.3 billion in May, down from $63.3 billion the month before. Servicers liquidated more than $1.1 billion across 126 loans for the month, accounting for most of the cuts to delinquencies. The average severity rate on these liquidations reached 51.2%, the second highest monthly amount on record. Delinquencies accounted for 8.35% of the loans Morningstar surveyed in May, down only 2 basis points from the previous month but still elevated from the 7.27% ratio measured one year ago. The May delinquency rate is 29 times higher than the record low of 0.28% in June 2007. "The movement in both delinquent unpaid balance and percentage is now clearly being impacted by the size and amount of loan liquidations, modifications, extensions and resolutions reported on a monthly basis, leading to a potential slow down in the reporting of new delinquency for the remainder of 2011," Morningstar analysts said. Analytics firm Trepp reported a dip in delinquencies for the month as well. But analysts at Barclays Capital (BCS) said it may only be temporary. REO asset management firm Green River Capital saw enough problematic loans this year to jump into the commercial space. Morningstar hedged itself as it continues to monitor loans on its watch list. Analysts said the delinquency rate could still reach higher than 9% by the end of the year. "This remains a reality under more heavily stressed scenarios involving additional large loan defaults," analysts said. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.