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Foreclosures hit yearly high in Massachusetts

A high number of Massachusetts foreclosures could signal the state's inventory of distressed properties is being cleared out.

A high number of Massachusetts foreclosures could signal the state's inventory of distressed properties is being cleared out.

The numbers look bad, but increased foreclosure activity in Massachusetts could mean the state’s housing market is moving in the right direction, according to a recent report from Banker & Tradesman publisher The Warren Group.

Timothy Warren, CEO of The Warren Group, said the housing market will not recover until foreclosure inventory hits the market and is sold off, so summertime increases in foreclosure deeds and petitions are not entirely negative indicators.

Bay State foreclosure deeds, representing completed foreclosures, increased 42 percent in June to reach 931, the highest monthly total of the year. Foreclosure petitions, representing the start of the foreclosure process, rose from 599 in May to 990 in June.

A previous Warren Group report showed the median sales price of Massachusetts houses rose slightly in June. However, this increase could be fleeting. Referring to the latest foreclosure activity, Warren said year-over-year numbers show foreclosures down since 2010, despite the early summer spike. This could mean more increases in foreclosure activity before real estate prices hit bottom and start a lasting rebound.