August 6, 2014

Foreclosure and Housing Market Update

Foreclosure Deeds and Auctions


Once again, the number of foreclosure deeds and auction notices showed noticeable improvements over the previous month. For the first time since 2007, there were fewer than 150 foreclosure deeds posted for the month.


Conversely, the number of home sales in New Hampshire has increased this year, as have purchase prices. Both of these factors may be helping to alleviate the foreclosure situation as formerly underwater borrowers may be finding it easier to sell their homes prior to foreclosure. In this month’s update, we take a look at Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data to see how the housing market is trending.



Foreclosure Deeds

The 147 foreclosure deeds recorded in New Hampshire in June of this year reflect a decrease of 30% from foreclosure deeds recorded in June of 2013, and a decrease of 15% from the prior month. June marks the first time since 2007 that the monthly total has been less than 150 foreclosure deeds. The cumulative total of 1,166 foreclosure deeds for January through June of 2014 is 21% below the total for the same period in 2013 and 43% lower than the same period in 2012. At the current pace, the 2014 year end total can be expected to show a 20% decline from 2013. These improvements are in part due to slow but steady improvements in the housing market and the overall economy, as may be seen in a later section of this report.




Foreclosure Deeds Bar Chart





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 decreased again from 247 in May to 215 in June, a decrease of 13% and a decrease of 43% when compared with June of last year. Comparing the cumulative foreclosure auction notices for the first six months of 2014 with the same period in 2013 shows a 35% 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 286 notices per month in the first six months of 2014, a decline of 65%.



Source: Real Data Corp., compiled by New Hampshire Housing


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 (


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 (



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 5.5% in the first quarter of 2014, 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 4.3% in June of 2014; however, it remains above its pre-recession rate of between 3% and 4%. Further, as the chart below suggests there is some 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.


Foreclosure inventory




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Multiple Listing Service Data




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 supported by the New Hampshire Department of Justice, the New Hampshire Banking Department and New Hampshire Housing.