Roundup: Fitch Expects to See CMBS Delinquencies Edge Up

Delinquencies of loans in commercial mortgage-backed securities monitored by Fitch Ratings rose to 1.31% in the fourth quarter, and Fitch is forecasting rising delinquencies over the coming year, according to the rating agency.

In 357 Fitch-monitored transactions, loan delinquencies rose four basis points from 1.27% in the third quarter on the rating agency's CMBS Loan Delinquency Index, Fitch said.

Although delinquent office loans account for only about 8% of total delinquencies, the amount of the delinquencies grew from $138 million to $200 million in the fourth quarter, Fitch said.

"Fitch is monitoring the downward trend in rents in almost every property sector," said Mary MacNeill, a Fitch senior director.

"We are particularly concerned about falling rents in the office sector, in combination with increasingly high vacancy rates and generous tenant work letters."

Commercial Loans Still Strong in CA

Sacramento, CA-A quarterly survey conducted by the California Mortgage Bankers Association finds that 99.86% of commercial real estate loans serviced by 17 mortgage banking companies in the state were either current or no more than one payment behind at the end of last year.

Just 0.14% of commercial mortgage loans were 60 days or more past due, the CMBA said. That's down from 0.16% in the third quarter, but up from 0.07% a year earlier, the trade group noted.

It also marks the 17th consecutive quarter that the commercial mortgage delinquency rate has been below one-half of one percent, the CMBA said.

Of the $40.8 billion of loans included in the survey, $55.6 million, representing 15 loans, were two or more payments past due. The survey includes 8,267 commercial real estate loans.

Laureate Names New Servicing SVP

Charlotte, NC-Laureate Capital has reorganized its executive team, making changes in response to Laureate's "rapid growth since formation in August 1994," according to Thomas Denard, president and CEO of the commercial mortgage banking/servicing firm.

Joseph L. Lovell has been appointed senior vice president of loan administration. Mr. Lovell, who was part of the Laureate startup team in 1994, was previously vice president and manager of treasury management with the company.

In another re-assignment, R. Thomas Gracey has been appointed Laureate's executive vice president of loan originations. Mr. Gracey was previously senior vice president and regional director of Laureate's Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Pa. and Naples, Fla. offices.

Also, Mark Hill, senior vice president, has been assigned to lead Laureate's product and asset management team. Mr. Hill was previously in charge of loan administration, Laureate said. Mr. Hill will be implementing a plan to "enhance capital markets executions" in Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, conduit and credit tenant lease financing, with Laureate's life insurance company delivery network.

And Joseph A. Shaffer, senior vice president and chief financial officer, will also manage compliance and risk management in addition to his current responsibilities in account/financial reporting, human systems and information systems.

Catellus Reorganizes as REIT

San Francisco-Catellus Development Corp. is going to reorganize its operations to qualify as a real estate investment trust effective Jan. 1, 2004, the company has reported.

The real estate development company's main line of business is the ownership and operation of industrial property.

The REIT conversion has been approved by the company's board of directors and is still subject to shareholder approval.

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