I guess it was fun while it lasted...
Mass. Defaults Reaching 'Epidemic Level'
At least three sources are calling attention to rising foreclosures in the state of Massachusetts today. ForeclosureS.com, a California-based real estate investment advisory firm and publisher of foreclosure property information, reported today that foreclosure activity in Massachusetts was reaching an epidemic level and clogging the court system.
"Our Massachusetts research team spent four hours on June 8 with clerks and judges in the District, Superior, and Land Courts and learned that the courts have a 30-45 delay in even issuing docket numbers for foreclosures across the state," said ForeclosureS.com president Alexis McGee.
She went on to say that her information indicated that foreclosure filings for Massachusetts in the month of May were at the highest level for a single month since a similar financial crisis in the mid 1980's.
... May 2006 foreclosure filings are 105 percent higher than May 2005 and over 165 percent higher than May 2004 levels.
"We expected foreclosure rates to increase again this year, but the levels we are tracking outdistance our earlier predictions," said Jeremy Shapiro, president and co-founder of ForeclosuresMass.com. "It is clear that many homeowners, especially those with adjustable rate mortgages, are being pushed closer to the edge as interest rates rise at such a consistent clip. We may be witnessing a 'perfect storm' scenario where a flat real estate market, higher interest rates, rising energy costs and specialty loans are causing significant difficulty for thousands of Massachusetts property owners." ...
As Paul Krugman has noted, maybe 30 percent of Americans live in parts of the country where housing prices have gone up the way they have until recently in Massachusetts -- but the value of homes in those areas is more than half the total market value of homes in the U.S. (because the houses are so pricey).
And now -- in Massachusetts, at least -- the bubble seems to be bursting, very rapidly. And the housing market doesn't have to implode everywhere to have a widespread effect.