Lowell Deeds

The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell

April 4, 2008

A Statewide Perspective on Foreclosures

by @ 5:37 am. Filed under Real Estate

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I attended an event in Boston on April 1 that reviewed the state of the foreclosure crisis in Massachusetts. Sponsored by Banker and Tradesman, “Foreclosure Aftershock: Lawsuits, Liability and Litigation” featured a keynote address by Attorney General Martha Coakley, but also included several other very interesting speakers. Tim Warren, Chairman of The Warren Group (which publishes Banker and Tradesman) gave a statistical analysis of the current crisis and compared it to the one we experienced in the early 1990s. He said the early slump saw a decline in sales that lasted only two years, while he predicted that this decline will span at least four years. In the 1990s, despite only a two year decline, it took six years for the median home price to exceed the pre-slump median price. There are a number of reasons why the current decline in prices may be continuing for so long. Three of these factors, according to Warren, are (1) tightening lending standards; (2) the flood of foreclosures; and (3) declining consumer confidence. Asking rhetorically “what could make this worse?”, Warren pointed to unemployment statistics. He urged everyone to watch future unemployment figures very closely. If they start creeping up, it will be a very bad sign for the housing market.

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