The number of CMBS loans of $20 million or more going into special servicing climbed sharply in the fourth quarter of 2011 to 340 from 299 the previous quarter, and all signs point to this escalation continuing as we move through 2012, Fitch Ratings said Friday. Office and retail remain the sectors most at risk of having to transfer to special servicing, says Mary MacNeill, managing director at New York City-based Fitch.
MacNeill tells Distressed Asset Investments the drop-off prior to Q4 of last year was most likely due to additional liquidity and optimism. "The fourth-quarter spike may be due to five-year loans inching closer to their '12 maturity dates, a trend which we do expect to continue, although lending has picked up as well," she says.
Fitch says approximately 16%, or 199, of the Fitch-rated loans that transferred in ‘11 are now classified as past maturity. This rate is expected to rise this year as five-year 2007 vintage loans reach their maturity date without a refinancing commitment.
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