Foreclosures in Massachusetts have hit their lowest monthly level of the year, according to The Warren Group, a real estate data gathering firm. New numbers show a seventeen percent decrease in foreclosure starts, filed in July 2012 versus the same time last year.
The number of completed foreclosures is also trending down. Cory Hopkins, editorial director at The Warren Group says a continuation of the economic recovery nationally will help keep foreclosures down. And he says there are other important factors.
“We don’t obviously want Europe to blow up in our faces, and we are certainly watching the Presidential election pretty closely. Any number of those things could knock us off our our block a little bit, but I think, knock on wood,if we can continue this momentum, or whatever, we should continue to see this kind of foreclosure activity for at least the next couple of months.”
A strong economy and recovering housing market is lifting consumer confidence, and Hopkins says the longer view on foreclosure data looks encouraging.
“July 2012, comparing it to July 2006, the best foreclosure start picture we’ve seen in at least six years, which is pretty encouraging. We also have been comparing July sales to the actually the best numbers that we have seen since July 2005.”
Locally, Western Massachusetts’ four counties mirror the overall statewide trend of double digit or greater declines in foreclosures, signaling that homeowners are making payments and working out defaults through short sales and loan modifications.
Here are some foreclosure numbers provided by the Warren Group
Franklin County: starts down 14%, deeds up 1% (up by one completed foreclosure)
Hampden County: starts down 8.5%, deeds up 20%
Hampshire county: starts down a little over 10%, deeds up 3% (up by two completed foreclosure)
Berkshire County: starts down 36%, deeds down close to 20%