Mass. foreclosures on downward trend, initiations still up

Completed home foreclosures in Massachusetts fell in November for the sixth consecutive month, according to data released Wednesday by The Warren Group, the State House News service reported.

Foreclosure petitions, the first step in the foreclosure process, also dropped slightly in November. At 295, the number of completed foreclosures in November was down 60 percent from November 2012. Completed foreclosures in Massachusetts over the first 11 months of 2012 were down 8 percent compared to the same period in 2011. “It’s been quite a positive year for the local housing market,” Warren Group CEO Timothy Warren Jr. said in a statement. “We’re beginning to see a brighter picture — with less foreclosures and more home sales. An improving employment picture combined with government-backed programs are leading to fewer mortgage delinquencies.”

Foreclosure petitions dropped by 3 percent in November to the lowest level since May 2011, but petitions filed over the first 11 months of 2012 were up 40 percent over the same period in 2011.