Two reports released today paint a mildly alarming picture of the local housing market. But officials are basically saying: Wait, it’s not as it appears. They seem to be right.

The first report from the Warren Group shows a 47 percent spike in foreclosures in Massachusetts, but a Warren Group official said the increase is really due to last year’s delay in processing filings: “Foreclosure activity was so low last year that we’re inevitably seeing a rise in foreclosures across the state,” said Cory S. Hopkins, editorial director of The Warren Group. “It’s necessary for a wave of foreclosures to work through the system this year, but it shouldn’t cause panic. In order to return to a healthier market, the backlog of distressed properties needs to be cleared from banks’ books.”

The second report from S&P’s Case Shiller does show home prices falling a bit in Boston, but other data since indicates prices are on the rise here. The good news, for the nation, is that other previously hard-pressed markets are finally showing stabilization.

File under: Bad is good

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Updated March 2018

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