By Sandy Belknap
I still like to read the newspaper - - yes, the actual paper with the black ink that gets my hands dirty. I don't know why, but there's something about holding my local paper while sipping my morning cup of coffee each day that makes me feel more connected to my community.
Typically, there is not a lot of new "news" in the Saturday edition of the paper, so I usually flip thru the pages rather quickly. But something caught my eye this past weekend in the Nashua Telegraph: "Fewer Houses in Foreclosure, but Still High"
The article was hidden a bit within the paper -- which surprised me for news that seemed worthy of front page coverage. But the fact that the story has been in my head for two days now made me think that it was 'blog worthy' material. Even if it's one of those 'good news/bad news' stories.
Good News: According to RealtyTrac, a company that measures and analyzes home sales data, Nashua saw fewer foreclosures in the third quarter (July-Sept 2009) and is seeing better numbers than the current national average. There was a 32% decline in foreclosures in Nashua compared to a year ago. But the numbers are still slightly higher than two years ago.
Bad News: The rest of the region is seeing an increase in foreclosure rates with Hudson and Milford being hit particularly hard. (The full listing of numbers from RealtyTrac is in the Telegraph article - so I won't restate all of the information this blog entry.)
While we are seeing the numbers, it would be good to hear about the stories behind RealtyTrac's data. Just by observation, I've seen a very positive improvement in my own Nashua neighborhood. A year ago, dozens of properties within a 1-2 mile radius of my home were on the market. Most bankowned or foreclosed signs are not posted with 'for sale' signs for such property locally, so it was difficult to tell which of those properies may have been part of the foreclosure numbers.
Today, there just a handful - six at last count - of homes on the market in the same area around my neighborhood.
Two of these are homes that haven't even been built yet! Ground has been broken for a new subdivision and foundations are being poured this week.
There are stories of hope like this across greater Nashua. And while the reality of the current economic situation continues to be felt in almost every household across Nashua, knowing about the stories behind the data provided by companies like RealtyTrac shows us whether or not things are really getting better.