Delinquency rates for commercial and multifamily mortgages mostly dropped in the first quarter of 2013, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said in a report Tuesday.

The improving economy and property fundamentals continue to support loan payments and fewer loans are maturing in 2013 than they did in 2012 and 2011, said Jamie Woodwell, vice president of commercial real estate research at MBA. As a result, commercial and multifamily mortgage performance continue to improve, Woodwell added.

"With interest rates still low, property incomes improving and property values on the rise, those loans that are maturing are facing an easier environment in which to refinance," he said.

Delinquency rates for commercial and multifamily mortgages held in life company portfolios increased 0.01 percentage points to 0.09% during the first quarter of 2013.

Meanwhile, the delinquency rate for multifamily loans held by Freddie Mac fell 0.03 percentage points to 0.16% for the first quarter of this year. Additionally, the delinquency rate for multifamily loans held by Fannie Mae increased 0.15 percentage points to 0.39% during the first quarter of 2013.

The rate for commercial and multifamily mortgages held by banks as well as thrifts was 4.15 percentage points lower than the series high of 6.58% in the second quarter of 1991, MBA said.

Furthermore, the rate for loans held in commercial mortgage-backed securitizations was 0.47 percentage points below the series high of 9.02% in the second quarter of 2011, MBA stated.

The MBA analysis researches commercial/multifamily delinquency rates for five of the largest investor-groups including CMBS, life insurance companies, commercial banks and thrifts as well as both government-sponsored enterprises, which hold more than 80% of commercial/multifamily mortgage debt outstanding, according to the association.

cmlynski@housingwire.com