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Cumulative CMBS Default Rate Rises in Q1: Fitch

""Fitch Ratings"":http://www.fitchratings.com/web/en/dynamic/fitch-home.jsp found cumulative U.S. CMBS defaults moved higher in the first quarter as the office sector struggled.

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The U.S. CMBS cumulative default rate for fixed-rate CMBS rose to 13.6 percent in Q1 2013, up 18 basis points from the previous quarter, according to the rating agency.

Fitch also reported office loans have led defaults over the past two years and maintained their lead with 55 percent of defaults by balance. The size of the loans that defaulted ranged from $1.4 million to $130.4 million.

""Office will continue to lead CMBS defaults in the near term as leases signed at the height of the market are rolling into lower rent environments and tenants reduce space,"" said Mary MacNeill, managing director.

Retail loans had the second highest share of defaults, with 29 percent of defaults by balance. In particular, Fitch says it remains ""cautious"" of retail loans for malls and shopping centers based in ""secondary or tertiary markets.""

Fitch also noted newly defaulted loans in the first quarter increased over a one year period to $2 billion, up from $1.7 billion a year ago.

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