More Mixed Signals Part II (Negative)

Excerpt from MA Foreclosure Petitions Rise 21% by Jenifer B. McKim of The Boston Globe:

The number of foreclosures in Massachusetts increased dramatically last month as more homeowners fell behind on mortgage payments or lost homes to lenders — a sign the housing market’s recovery remains tenuous, real estate specialists say.

Petitions, the first phase of a foreclosure process, rose in number to 2,581 in March, a 21.6 percent increase from February, according to data released yesterday by Warren Group, a Boston company that tracks local real estate.

Foreclosure deeds, filed when a homeowner officially loses title to a property, surged to 1,389 in March — 51.4 percent more than in February and the highest number for any month in more than a year.

The rise in foreclosures compounds existing problems for neighborhoods plagued by abandoned and neglected properties. But how the swelling numbers affect the housing market, which has been boosted recently by growth in sales and prices, is unclear.

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