Delinquencies for U.S. commercial mortgage-backed securities declined to 1.22% in March, and the trend is likely to continue for the rest of 2005, according to Fitch Ratings.The rating agency's loan delinquency index records a 31-basis-point decline in CMBS delinquencies compared with the March 2004 index, continuing the downward trend in loan delinquencies that Fitch has been seeing since August 2004, the rating agency said. "Fitch expects to see a continuing overall decline in the delinquency index over the remainder of 2005, as real estate fundamentals are improving across all property types and in almost all markets," said Mary O'Rourke, a Fitch senior director. For the latest period, the rating agency saw a "small gain" in multifamily delinquencies, and a corresponding decline in retail delinquencies. Fitch can be found online at http://www.fitchratings.com.

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