Mass. foreclosure filings smash record (From Boston.com)
January had the highest number of monthly Massachusetts foreclosure filings in at least two decades as local consumers struggled to hang onto their homes, according to a new report.
Last month, 2,207 foreclosure filings - or 110 every business day - were submitted in Massachusetts, more than double the number of a year ago; filings in January 2007 were up 105 percent from 1,076 filings in January 2006, according to ForeclosuresMass.com, a Framingham firm that provides online Massachusetts foreclosure data to investors, real estate agents, and lenders.
"The flood of foreclosures in Massachusetts is not only continuing; it has reached a new high," company president Jeremy Shapiro said in a statement. "The fact we are starting the year with the highest number of foreclosures we've ever recorded for a single month is more than significant - it's ominous."
Because housing is one of the sectors that could, in fact, bring the whole economy down, resolving the "stabilization" question is important. Although the Massachusetts and other "subprime" anecdotes concern mainly the low-end of the market (and all those poor folks who hoped that interest rates would stay at Japanese levels forever), the contagion could still spread--especially if long rates ever tick up. Given this, combined with the fact that down cycles in housing usually last about 5 years, not 1 year (and usually trough well below the long-term trend line), the wise conclusion is probably that we're still closer to the beginning of the housing "correction" than the end.