Oct. 2007: Foreclose petitions
topped 3,000 in Mass., 4,814 MLS listings sold during same period,
8,976 listings expired or were canceled!

Because October listing represent December closing, maybe more appropriate to compare sales in December 2007:  Sales below 4,000 (3,956) or down about 20% from October 2007.  Expired & canceled listings even higher:  10,982 across Massachusetts in December 2007.  Those listings are now available, at approximately 5% below their last asking price in the MLS.  Estimating that another 9,000 home owners have received foreclosure petitions since October 1, that puts further downward pressure on asking prices.  48,321 active listing and 38,000 in shadow inventory 67,585 MLS sales last year.

Defensive homebuying tip:  The falling number of active MLS listings unstate the potential inventory of homes for sale.  For each home sold in December, there were 2.7 expired and canceled listings.  If petitions to foreclose continued at October pace, there are up to another 9,000 distressed homeowners who may consider in an unsolicited offer to purchase their home:

Petitions to foreclose are the first step in the foreclosure process, and do not always end in actual foreclosure. Some homeowners eventually sell their homes or refinance.

“Petitions to foreclose spiked in August, and are back up near that level in October,” Warren said. “Auction announcements and foreclosure deeds are slightly lower than in previous months, which could mean more homeowners are finding solutions before they lose their homes, or that lenders are slowing down the process. It looks like we’ll see more of the same in 2008.”

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