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New Hampshire Foreclosure Deeds Fall

The number of foreclosure deeds in New Hampshire fell in March, suggesting that New Hampshire's long term foreclosure outlook will continue to improve, according to the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority (NHHFA). The foreclosure activity in the first quarter of 2014 was below that of every year since 2007, and is 21 percent below last year's first quarter.

Foreclosure deeds in March declined 6 percent from February, as well as falling on a yearly basis 22 percent. "In a continuation of the decline from 2012 to 2013, 2014 can be expected to record a 20+% drop in foreclosure deeds," NHHFA said. So far this year, 637 foreclosure deeds have been recorded in the state.

The group noted that foreclosure auction notices provide an indication of households that have fallen seriously behind in mortgage payments. Foreclosure notices decreased in March by 18 percent, a 47 percent decrease from March 2013.

Foreclosure auction notice activity has declined at a rate of roughly 809 notices per month from its peak in 2010 to 368 notices per month in 2013, a 55 percent decline.

The group was cautious to note that recent improvement are still not indicative of a full recovery in New Hampshire.

"While the mortgage delinquency rate in New Hampshire has declined from its peak of 9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, it remains well above its pre-recession rate of less than 4 percent," NHHFA said.

The group further commented that the unemployment rate has shown "erratic but regular improvement" from its peak of 7.3 percent in 2010. The current unemployment rate in New Hampshire is 4.9 percent as of March 2014. Still, the unemployment rate remains above the pre-recession rate of approximately 4 percent.

The link between a high unemployment rate and mortgage delinquency "suggests that there is a correlation between these two rates since most households with mortgages that experience a job loss will fall behind in their payments once savings have been exhausted," NHHFA opined.