The 161 foreclosure deeds recorded in November of this year is a decrease of 36% from November of 2012 and a decrease of 33% from the prior month. November’s number also represents the lowest number of foreclosure deeds for a single month since September 2007. The cumulative total for the first eleven months of 2013 is 25% below the total for the same period in 2012, and lower than the first eleven month total in any year since 2007. At the current pace, 2013 will end the year with fewer foreclosures than any of the prior five years. We estimate this number to be fewer than 2,750 foreclosure deeds, a decline of 25% from year end 2012. These improvements are, in part, due to slow but steady improvements in the housing market and the overall economy. They may also be attributable in part to the easing of lender attitudes toward short sales, allowing underwater borrowers to exit ownership prior to foreclosure.
Foreclosure Auction Notices
Foreclosure auction notices provide an indication of the number of households that have fallen seriously behind in their mortgage payments. Foreclosure auction notices declined by 19%, dropping from 376 in October to 303 in November. This is a decrease of 24% when compared with November of last year. Comparing the cumulative foreclosure auction notices for the first eleven months of 2013 with the same period in 2012 shows a 34% decline in activity. Over the long term, the foreclosure auction notice activity has declined from an average of 809 notices per month at its peak in 2010 to 388 notices per month in the first eleven months of 2013, a decline of 52%. As is the case with foreclosure deeds, the cumulative number of foreclosure auction notices recorded for 2013 are on track to be the lowest since 2007.
New Hampshire Housing has been offering these foreclosure status updates every month since mid 2008. The past four months of updates are available on our website (http://www.nhhfa.org/housing-data-foreclosure-subprime-lending.cfm).
Additional research on mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures, as well as extensive economic data and research specific to New England, can be found on the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston website (www.bos.frb.org).
Mortgage Delinquency and the Unemployment Rate
While the mortgage delinquency rate in New Hampshire has declined from its peak of 9% in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 6.4% in the third quarter of 2013, it remains well above its pre-recession rate of less than 4%. In a similar manner, New Hampshire’s unadjusted unemployment rate has shown erratic but regular improvement from its peak of 7.3% in early 2010 to 4.8% in November of 2013; however, it remains above its pre-recession rate of around 4%.
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A Shift from Ownership to Renting