N.H. foreclosures continue downward trend in August

Foreclosures in New Hampshire were down in August from the same month last year, but up slightly from July, continuing the trend of a slow yearly improvement over the record high number of foreclosures seen the past couple of years.

There were 282 foreclosure deed recordings in the state in August, which was a 12 percent decline from August 2011, when there were 321, according to figures from the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority.

That's a 5 percent increase from July — when there were 269 foreclosures recorded — but is otherwise the smallest number of foreclosures that has been recorded in a single month in 2012. The yearly high so far for 2012 was in April, when there were 384 foreclosures recorded.

From January through August of this year, there have been 2,580 foreclosures recorded in the state, which is down about 3 percent from the same period in 2011 and 12 percent below the same period in 2010.

The slowing pace of foreclosures through the first eight months of the year is a "heartening sign," the authority said, but it warned that "it will still take quite a long time for the housing market to achieve a sense of 'normalcy' again."

Foreclosure auction notices, which provide an up-to-date indication of the number of households that have fallen seriously behind in their mortgage payments, increased in August by 3.5 percent to 620 from 599 in the prior month. Still, that is a 10 percent decrease from August 2011.

Overall for the first eight months of the year, foreclosure notice activity is down 4.6 percent from 2011 and 22 percent from 2010. In 2010, there were 809 notices filed per month on average, compared with 627 on average in 2012.

While the mortgage delinquency rate in New Hampshire has declined from its peak of 9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 6.8 percent in the second quarter of 2012, it remains well above its pre-recession rate of less than 4 percent, the authority said.


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