Almost $165 billion in US commercial real estate loans will mature this year and need to be sold or refinanced as rents and occupancies fall, according to First American CoreLogic.

The US South has the most maturing loans with 60,893 mortgages valued at $96bn coming due on shops, offices, hotels, apartment buildings and land, Santa Ana, California- based First American said in a report. The West is second with 20,549 mortgages maturing for a value of $35bn.

Commercial property owners are struggling to pay debt as the recession reduces demand and forces landlords to cut rent. U.S. apartment vacancies reached a 22-year high in the second quarter and office vacancies rose to the highest in four years, real estate data company Reis said earlier this month. Properties worth more than $108bn were in default, foreclosure or bankruptcy as of July 8, according to data firm Real Capital Analytics Inc.