Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Increase in town foreclosure filings

Because the city of Lowell is the largest community in this registry district and because, like many urban areas, it served as an incubator of the conditions that led to the collapse of real estate prices, much of our attention is often focused there. But statistics from the nine towns in our district are starting to show some interesting trends, both good and bad.

On the good side, mortgage recordings for the towns are up substantially, an average of 30% for the first eleven months of 2009 when compared to the same time last year. And the number recorded in November was up 113% from November 2008.

The bad news is that number of orders of notice recorded – that’s the document that commences the foreclosure process – is also up considerably for the towns. While the eleven-month average for 2009 is still down 5% compared to 2008, since this September, the number recorded is up 121% when compared to the same time last year (September, October and November). Our initial investigation of these new filings show that only one-third involved the foreclosure of a purchase mortgage while two-thirds involved refinanced mortgages.

This negative trend bears watching. We’ll do that and will report back in the coming weeks with more analysis of this trend.

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