Foreclosure Activity in Massachusetts – Roaring back in March  

Foreclosed Home - Massachusetts Real Estate

We are continuing to examine foreclosure data for Massachusetts as we have over the last several months.  This month we are especially curious to see if the surprising trend seen in the January 2015 and February 2015 data of foreclosure deeds lagging behind the leading indicators of petitions and auctions.

Recent Massachusetts Foreclosure Activity:

As a recap there are three items that are tracked for foreclosures which are the petitions (which is the first step for a foreclosure), the actual auctions scheduled and finally the foreclosure deeds, which is where the bank takes the property back at the auction (when nobody else is willing to buy it at the auction).

When we first started tracking this data we saw all of these measures increasing in the November 2014 and December 2014 data.  In January 2015 and February 2015 we saw the foreclosure deeds actually fall year over year despite both petitions and auctions going up, and consistently going up for many months.

In March Foreclosure Deeds in Massachusetts increased year over year again, as did both of the initial indicators.  So the odd pattern the last two months has reversed and more anticipated result of deeds increasing since petitions and auctions have been up for many months in a row.  Recall that there can be a lag of several months between the initial petition and the recording of a foreclosure deed so it isn’t that important that those are up THIS month but the fact they have been up every month for 6+ months is why you expect deeds to go up.

Looking at the metrics in order, petitions continue to rise significantly year over year posting a 68% increase over March of last year.  In March of 2015 there were 1,108 petitions filed compared to 660 last March, this is the 13th consecutive month of year over year increases and this is most petitions filed since October of 2012.

Next we look at the auction announcements.  These were up significantly once again increasing 47.6% year over year with 462 announcements in March 2015 compared to 313 in 2014.  The last two months they had been up 250% then 242% which were the largest annual increase seen since 2007, so while still up a lot the pace is not as voracious as the start of the year.  Overall so far in 2015 just over 2.5 times as many auctions have been scheduled compared to this time period in 2014.

Finally as noted above the two month trend of decreasing deeds year over year has gone back to the pattern seen previously of year over year increases for several months.  In March 2015 there were 359 deeds recorded, not surprisingly the highest monthly total of the year so far, a 51% increase over the 238 filings in March 2014.

What Does This Mean For The Market?:

It does appear that my theory that the decrease in deeds the last couple of months was just a slight anomaly going against the leading indicators.  The increase in deeds is back to what is expected with the long trend of increases in petitions and auctions.  It is clear that foreclosures are on the rise and we should expect to see more and more bank owned properties come to market.  The biggest note to pay attention to for this is the fact that petitions are up for 13 straight months.  If this continues to hold true foreclosures will inevitably increase.  Recall once again the lag time from petition to recording a foreclosure deed is several months, and can be very long with some of those petitions from 13 months ago might just be getting to that point now.


The pattern seen over the last couple months has stopped this month.  The decrease in foreclosure deeds in February was to a much smaller degree then what was seen in January so it isn’t surprising to see things to be back to “normal” as the pattern was moving in that direction already.  With both leading indicators up substantially once again this month and continuing the pattern of both petitions and auctions rising for many consecutive months foreclosures will continue to increase for some time, most likely.

To reiterate the advice in our previous articles, if you are thinking about selling a house this year you should consider getting it to market ASAP before these other properties start coming to the market.  If a large number of these start to come onto the market prices could dip and the days on market for places could increase.  If this happens you may get hit with the tough situation of selling for less than expected while also taking much longer to sell than you had anticipated.


Do you need to sell your Massachusetts (or New Hampshire) house fast?  If you would like to sell your home fast and hassle free schedule a consultation with us today.



All data for this article from Banker & Tradesman via The Warren Group:

March Data:


(Image Credit: Foreclosed Home by Nick Anfinsen via Wikipedia)



Speak Your Mind