The outlook for U.S. CMBS is set to look a lot less hefty in the next year as the number of loans coming due will drop by 40%, according to a Fitch Ratings report.

Approximately 1,200 loans in CMBS deals rated by Fitch totaling $17.3 billion are scheduled to mature in 2012. This is down from 2,000 loans worth $22.5 billion that mature this year.

Maturities remain modest in 2013 ($13.3 billion) and 2014 ($15.5 billion) before jumping to $29 billion in 2015.

Loans scheduled to mature in 2012 have an average balance of $13.9 million and were originated between 1996 and 2007.

Loans secured by office properties represent the largest concentration of maturing loans next year at 38%. Multifamily (22%) and retail (20%) properties are the sectors with the next biggest number of these loans. Maturities in 4Q11 remain modest at only 204 loans representing $4.4 billion.

The rating agency expects the majority of loans to payoff despite the short-term volatility of the capital markets.

"Most maturing loans, particularly those from earlier vintages, benefit from stable performance and years of scheduled amortization, which make them more easily financeable in today' market," said Fitch Senior Director Adam Fox.

Loans written after 2007 are the most challenging to refinance. "Borrowers "will likely need to contribute additional equity to secure financing for five-year loans," he said.

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