Both commercial and residential mortgage securities saw more upgrades than downgrades from Moody's Investors Service last year, rating agency officials have told MortgageWire.In 2003, the downgrade rate for commercial mortgage-backed securities transactions fell to 4.3%, from 5.3% in 2002. The upgrade rate for CMBS rose from 2.4% to 5.1%. In the residential MBS sector, the upgrade rate rose to 5.1% in 2003 from 1.7% in 2002, while the downgrade rate increased slightly to 0.5% from 0.1%. Moody's analysts said "de-leveraging" that resulted from refinancing activity contributed to the improvement. The rating agency can be found online at http://www.moodys.com.

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