MAY 31ST, 2023

Massachusetts Mortgages

Like many states on the east coast, Massachusetts is doing well for itself economically. The state showed only 9.3% of its population living below the poverty line in the 1999 census, compared to the national average of 12.4%. The median household income in Massachusetts is also higher than the national income, with the most recent facts from the US census showing it to be $50,502 compared to the national average which was $41,994. This strapping economy has translated into a booming yet manageable housing market. The US census showed that in 2002, there were 2,649,029 housing units in Massachusetts. Of those, 61.7% of them are occupied by their owner. This is significantly lower than the national homeownership rate of 66.2%, and this can be explained by the high cost of homes in Massachusetts. The median value of an owner occupied housing unit in the state according to the 2000 census was $185,700 as compared with the national average value of $119,600. With a median value at around half again as much as the national average, it is unsurprising that the home ownership rates in Massachusetts are below those where housing is less expensive.

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There are signs of trouble in the Massachusetts housing market. The number of foreclosed homes is jumping across Massachusetts and experts think that predatory lending practices are at least partially to blame.

According to reports and figures from ForeclosuresMass, a company that tracks foreclosure proceedings, the number of foreclosure proceedings initiated in the Bay State for the first three months of the year increased to nearly 3,800. This number is up a full 30 percent from the number of proceedings that began in the first quarter of last year.

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The number of homes transferred through foreclosure auctions in some counties in Massachusetts in the first four months of this year more than doubled over the first four months of last year. The foreclosures went from 38 from 78, according to the County Registry. Aspects of this startling increase in foreclosures can be attributed to the slowing down of what was for ages a booming real estate market.

Another factor involved in the rising foreclosure rates are the too-good-to-be-true mortgage offers that became popular as house prices soared. These loans often left first-time home buyers overextended and unable to keep up with payments.

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