While compiling the end-of-January statistics last week, I was struck by the significant increase in the number of foreclosure deeds recorded this January compared to the same month in 2011 - 38 in Jan 2012 and just 23 in Jan 2011, an increase of 65%. This prompted me to scrutinize the individual cases. What I found suggests that the increase in foreclosure activity is not in the city of Lowell, but in the surrounding towns.
Consider this: In January 2011, 65% of the foreclosure deeds recorded were for property in Lowell while just 35% were for property in the nine towns in the Middlesex North District (15 in Lowell; 8 in the towns). In January 2012, however, 53% of the foreclosures were from the towns and just 47% were from the city (20 in the towns; 18 in Lowell).
More evidence is needed before any conclusions can be drawn from this, but it is indeed something worth watching in the coming months.
For the record, here's how the foreclosures in the two months were distributed:
In January 2011: 3 in Chelmsford; 1 in Dunstable; 15 in Lowell; 1 in Tewksbury; 1 in Tyngsborough; 1 in Westford and 1 in Wilmington.
In January 2012: 7 in Billerica, 4 in Chelmsford, 4 in Dracut, 18 in Lowell, 2 in Tyngsborough, 2 in Westford, and 1 in Wilmington.