Nationwide, nearly 805,000 homes received at least one foreclosure-related notice from January through March, up from about 650,000 in the same time period a year earlier, according to RealtyTrac, Inc. There are a few reasons why this the numbers are up. For the past few months, many banks were in the process of negotiating with there mortgage holders but were waiting to see how the Obama stimulus package would effect them.
Now what we have seen is that the unqualified home owners are being foreclosed on. This is consistent with the fact that in that last quarter of 2008 the foreclosure rate was down 13%, the banks were waiting and the wait is over. The majority of foreclosures came in March with over 340,000 that is 46% higher from last year.
I think we can expect foreclosures do decline in the 2nd quarter compared to the first and I believe they will begin to level out to more stable numbers over the next few years. Keep in mind that despite large foreclosure notices not all homes get repossessed, only about 195,000 homes completed the foreclosure process last quarter. Many home owners can work out a plan with the lender to refinance. Others successfully sell their home. Now is a great time for Boston real estate investors seeing how the rental markets are starting to become more lucrative given the limited supply here in Boston.