April foreclosures down 26%

The number of foreclosed deeds reported in April fell by 26 percent from March, according to the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority.The authority said 404 foreclosures were reported in New Hampshire in April, compared to 543 reported in March.But April’s figures are still 12 percent above the number of foreclosures reported in April 2010, when there were 361 foreclosed deeds recorded.It’s difficult to tell if the one-month drop is the beginning of a foreclosure slowdown or just a minor deviation from sustained increased activity, said the authority.”The moratoria on foreclosure proceedings by several large lenders caused a slowdown in the pace of foreclosure deeds observed between October 2010 and January of this year.”The authority said increases in foreclosure deed activity in March and April, when compared year-over-year, “indicate a return to a more rapid pace of foreclosure proceedings. The larger question remains, will the slow but steady improvement in New Hampshire’s underlying economic conditions slow the rate of foreclosure this year, or will we return to the record high numbers of foreclosures experienced in 2010?”The cumulative total for the first four months of 2011 is slightly behind last year’s record pace of foreclosures. Year to date, there have been 1,471 foreclosures, as compared to 1,488 in the first four months of 2010.Foreclosure auction notices – often considered a real-time indicator of properties in default – also decreased in April by 24 percent, to 539 from 707 reported in March, as well as a 37 percent drop from the 855 notices reported in April 2010.”April is the first month since 2007 where foreclosure notice activity slipped below 600,” said the authority.NHHFA also reported that first quarter 2011 delinquency rates declined in the U.S. and New England as well as in New Hampshire, based in findings from the Mortgage Bankers Association.New Hampshire’s first-quarter delinquency rate was 6.8 percent, while New England’s was 7.2 percent, and 7.8 percent nationally.While still historically high, “this is the third quarter in a row with a decline in the delinquency rate in New Hampshire as well as the third quarter in a row with a decline when compared with the same quarter in the prior year,” said the authority. – CINDY KIBBE/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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