CORAL GABLES, FL-The amount of delinquent commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) loans in Southern Florida dropped below the $1 billion level for the first time in years.

New data from Trepp LLC reports that the delinquency rate for CMBS loans in the region fell to 8.2% in December, down from 8.9% a month earlier and 9.4% in December 2011. The amount of delinquent CMBS loans stood at $957 million at the end of 2012. The national CMBS delinquency rate stood at 9.7% in December 2012.

Constantine Scurtis, CEO of Coral Gables-based SL Capital, says the hot real estate market in South Florida is helping lower CMBS delinquency rates here. See story in the South Florida Business Journal.