Moody’s downgrades ten CMBS classes of BSCMS 2007
Global rating agency Moody’s downgraded the ratings of ten classed and affirmed ten classes of Bear Stearns Commercial Mortgage Securities. The downgrades are due to higher than expected realized and anticipated losses from specially serviced and troubled loans.
The affirmations of the pooled classes are due to key parameters, including Moody’s loan to value (LTV) ratio, Moody’s stressed debt service coverage ratio (DSCR) and the Herfindahl Index (Herf), remaining within acceptable ranges. Based on our current base expected loss, the credit enhancement levels for the affirmed classes are sufficient to maintain their current ratings. The affirmation of the IO Class, Class X, is consistent with the credit performance of its referenced classes and is thus affirmed.
Moody’s rating action reflects a base expected loss of 11.1% of the current balance. At last full review, Moody’s base expected loss was 10.0%. Depending on the timing of loan payoffs and the severity and timing of losses from specially serviced loans, the credit enhancement level for investment grade classes could decline below the current levels. If future performance materially declines, the expected level of credit enhancement and the priority in the cash flow waterfall may be insufficient for the current ratings of these classes.
The performance expectations for a given variable indicate Moody’s forward-looking view of the likely range of performance over the medium term. From time to time, Moody’s may, if warranted, change these expectations. Performance that falls outside the given range may indicate that the collateral’s credit quality is stronger or weaker than Moody’s had anticipated when the related securities ratings were issued. Even so, a deviation from the expected range will not necessarily result in a rating action nor does performance within expectations preclude such actions. The decision to take (or not take) a rating action is dependent on an assessment of a range of factors including, but not exclusively, the performance metrics.
Primary sources of assumption uncertainty are the extent of growth in the current macroeconomic environment and commercial real estate property markets. Commercial real estate property values are continuing to move in a positive direction along with a rise in investment activity and stabilization in core property type performance. Limited new construction and moderate job growth have aided this improvement. However, a consistent upward trend will not be evident until the volume of investment activity steadily increases for a significant period, nonperforming properties are cleared from the pipeline, and fears of a Euro area recession are abated.
The hotel sector is performing strongly with eight straight quarters of growth and the multifamily sector continues to show increases in demand with a growing renter base and declining home ownership. Slow recovery in the office sector continues with minimal additions to supply. However, office demand is closely tied to employment, where growth remains slow and employers are considering decreases in the leased space per employee. Also, primary urban markets are outperforming secondary suburban markets. Performance in the retail sector continues to be mixed with retail rents declining for the past four years, weak demand for new space and lackluster sales driven by discounting and promotions. However, rising wages and reduced unemployment, along with increased consumer confidence, is helping to spur consumer spending resulting in increased sales. Across all property sectors, the availability of debt capital continues to improve with robust securitization activity of commercial real estate loans supported by a monetary policy of low interest rates.