News from the wire:

From Boston Business Journal

The Boston metro area is number 48 on a list of 100 metropolitan areas ranked by foreclosure rates in the third quarter of 2007.

The survey was issued Wednesday by RealtyTrac Inc., an online marketplace for foreclosure properties.

From the Globe:

Worcester and Boston/Quincy ranked 32nd and 48th respectively on a national survey that compiled home foreclosure rates among the country’s 100 largest metropolitan areas during the third quarter.

So, let’s be good reporters and take five extra seconds to put this thing in perspective so that it is actually useful to you, a reader.

There are 363 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) in the United States, according to Wikipedia.

The top three are:

1 New York–Northern New Jersey–Long Island NY–NJ–PA 18,818,536 people
2 Los Angeles–Long Beach–Santa Ana CA 12,950,129 people
3 Chicago–Naperville–Joliet IL–IN–WI 9,505,748 people

Boston is the 11th largest MSA, with around 4.4 million people.

But, “Boston” is a misnomer, since the area is actually “Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH”, whatever that means.

Worcester is the 64th largest MSA, with around 785,000 people.

So, two things.

First, reporting the foreclosure numbers for such large areas is somewhat limited in usefulness.

Second, if Boston is the 11th largest MSA but is only 48th out of the top 100 MSAs, then we’re doing pretty well, right?

Worcester? Not so much.

Source: Report: Foreclosure filings up in Boston – Boston Business Journal

Also: Foreclosure rates on the rise – The Boston Globe

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