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New Hampshire Foreclosure Outlook Largely Positive

The New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority [1] (NHHFA) released [1] foreclosure data for April, which found that 210 foreclosure deeds were recorded in the month, a 9 percent increase. This is the first time in over a year that the Granite State saw in increase when compared to the same month in the prior year.

However, total foreclosure deeds in the first four months of 2014 still remains 15 percent below the total for the same period in 2013. Total foreclosure deeds in the first four months of 2014 remain at their lowest level since 2007.

The NHHFA reported that foreclosure auction notices declined by 1.4 percent in April, down to 275 from 279 in the previous month. Year-over-year, foreclosure auctions experienced a 39 percent decline. Foreclosure auction notice activity has declined from an average of 809 notices per month at their peak in 2010, to 368 notices per month in 2013—a decline of 55 percent.

Citing data from the Mortgage Bankers Association, the NHHFA reported the delinquency rate for mortgages in New Hampshire was 5.5 percent, slightly below the national average of 5.9 percent.

"These are the lowest first quarter delinquency rates since 2008. At the national level, this is the fifteenth quarter in a row with a decline when compared with the same quarter in the prior year. Despite these recent improvements, delinquency rates remain at their prerecession levels and stubbornly high," NHHFA said.

New Hampshire foreclosures starts also saw a decline, albeit a slight one. Starts in the first quarter of 2014 were down 0.38 percent, down from 0.51 percent in the prior quarter. Foreclosure starts hit their lowest rate in the past seven years.

Total foreclosure inventory decreased again in the first quarter of 2014. Foreclosure inventory in Q1 2014 was 1.4 percent of homes with a mortgage, representing roughly 3,500 homes. "Nonetheless, at the current pace of foreclosure deed recordings, it could take more than 12 months to bring this inventory back to pre 2006 inventory levels, without any new foreclosure initiations," NHHFA said.