August 1, 2013

Foreclosure and Housing Market Update

Data continued to show declines in both foreclosure deeds and foreclosure notices in June, marking the first six months of the year as the lowest activity since 2007.


Also included in this month's update is a glance at New Hampshire's rental market from the Authority's 2013 Residential Rental Cost Survey, which was released in July. Despite the recent recession's negative impact on housing values in the homeownership market, New Hampshire's rental costs have continued to rise.


Foreclosure Deeds


The 209 foreclosure deeds recorded in New Hampshire in June of this year are a decrease of 23% from May, and a decrease of 37% from foreclosure deeds recorded in June of 2012. The cumulative total for the first six months of 2013 is 27% below the total for the same period in 2012 and 30% below the total for the same period in 2011. At the current pace, 2013 will end the year with fewer foreclosures than any of the past five years. These changes are in part due to slow but steady improvements in the housing market and the overall economy. They may also be attributable to changes in lender attitudes toward short sales and other alternatives to foreclosure.









Foreclosure Auction Notices


Foreclosure auction notices provide an indication of the number of households who have fallen seriously behind in their mortgage payments. Foreclosure auction notices decreased in June by 4% to 379 from the 395 experienced in the prior month. This is a decrease of 33% when compared with June of last year. Comparing the cumulative foreclosure auction notices for the first six months of 2013 with the same period in 2012 shows a 31% 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 438 notices per month in the first half of 2013, a decline of 46%.


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 6.6% in the first quarter of 2013, it remains well above its pre-recession rate of less than 4% and has not declined significantly since the first quarter of 2011. In a similar manner New Hampshire's unadjusted unemployment rate has shown erratic but steady improvement from its peak of 7.3% in early 2010, to 5.1% in May of 2013; however, it remains above its pre-recession rate of around 4% and also has not improved significantly since 2010.


Further, as the chart below suggests, there is a correlation between these two rates since most households with mortgages that experience a job loss will fall behind in their payments once savings have been exhausted. While both the unemployment rate and the delinquency rate display seasonality, the unemployment rate high in the first quarter of the year is based on the winter season and the delinquency rate low in the first quarter is a result of the federal "tax season." Many homeowners will use their federal income tax return to become current on their mortgage loan.




Rental Housing Market


New Hampshire Housing conducts a residential rental cost survey annually. The 2013 survey found a statewide median gross rental cost for 2-bedroom units of $1,076. The map below shows the median monthly gross rental cost for 2-bedroom units by county. Rents are highest in the southern counties closest to the Boston labor market area. In addition, most of the rental housing units in the state (73%) are located in Hillsborough, Rockingham, Merrimack, and Strafford Counties.


The trend of low vacancy rates (3.3% statewide) and higher rents has continued from last year. One contributing factor in the pressure on the rental housing market has been the influx of households coming out of foreclosure. There are signs of construction activity in the southeastern portion of the state, but even once those new rental units come into the market, there will still be high demand for quality affordable rental housing in this most populous area of the state.


The full residential rental cost data can be found on New Hampshire Housing's website at









Resources for Homeowners


The foreclosure process can happen quickly, and it can also be very confusing for homeowners. HomeHelpNH is a statewide foreclosure counseling initiative that helps at-risk homeowners find and work with free experienced homeownership counselors to explore their options. For more information, or to get started, homeowners who need assistance should call 2-1-1 or visit now!


HomeHelpNH is a statewide foreclosure counseling initiative supported by the New Hampshire Department of Justice, the New Hampshire Banking Department and New Hampshire Housing.


Foreclosure and Housing Market Update

is a publication of the Policy, Planning and Communications Group of New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority

New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority is a self-supporting public benefit corporation. The Authority operates a broad range of programs designed to assist low- and moderate-income persons and families to obtain decent, safe and affordable housing. 



Jane Law
Director, Communications 
New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority


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