Foreclosures in Massachusetts Decline in January

The number of housing foreclosures in Massachusetts dropped significantly in January compared to a year ago. That’s according to statistics released by the Warren Group, a Boston-based real estate analysis firm.

The report says the number of new foreclosures filed this January in the Bay State dropped by 29 percent from January 2012. And the number of finalized foreclosures dropped by 63 percent in the same time frame. Warren Group CEO Timothy Warren says there are several reasons for overall improvements in the real estate market over the past several months: improvements in the stock market, slightly lower unemployment, and greater consumer confidence. He says a stronger housing market makes for higher home values and a general decrease in foreclosures.

“It doesn’t mean that you don’t have mortgage delinquencies or people who are unable to pay their mortgage, but they just have more alternatives for how to solve that particular problem. The solution is to sell the home.”

Warren says he expects the declining foreclosure trend to continue this year, barring any major increases in the unemployment rate. Springfield had the highest number of new January foreclosures in the state, with 43 petitions filed. That slightly outpaces Worcester which had 39 new foreclosure petitions. But the two cities each saw double digit declines in both new and finalized foreclosures compared to last January, similar to the statewide numbers.