Foreclosures Versus Student Enrollment II
There is at least one glitch in the comprehensive municipality-by-municipality data that the Projo has been providing on foreclosures. According to a John Castellucci story that appeared in the April 15 Projo, there were 108 foreclosures in Pawtucket between January and mid-March of 2008 and 172 in all of 2007. That calls into question the completeness of the Projo’s 2007 to 2008 Q1 comparison chart, where figures of only 5 foreclosures in Q1 of 2007 and 1 in Q1 2008 are quoted for Pawtucket.
I can’t find any “official” data on the web for municipal level data for 2008, but there are a number of websites that give city-by-city listings of foreclosed properties for sale.
Yahoo has a real-estate site that lists foreclosed properties with the dates they were listed. Here’s the number of foreclosure listings I retrieved last night…
|Central Falls||14||(June 10 – August 15)|
|Cranston||142||(June 10 – August 19)|
|Pawtucket||99||(June 10 – August 19)|
|Providence||741||(June 10 – August 21)|
Foreclosure.com breaks its listings into “foreclosure” and “pre-foreclosure” categories…
And the site that Ken suggested, RealtyTrac.com, divides its foreclosure listing into “Auction” and “Bank-Owned” categories; the bank owned includes listings originally from 2007. The totals in the two categories are…
The numbers in these other estimates are consistent with the Castellucci story for Pawtucket and roughly consistent with the other Projo-reported estimates for Central Falls/Cranston/Providence.
So, if as Matt Jerzyk postulates, the drop in student enrollment is directly related to foreclosures, then…
- The drop in in Providence should be 25 to 50 times bigger than the drop in Central Falls…
- …but it’s not. The decline in Central Falls was about 450 students, the decline in Providence, about 1,700 students, a factor of about 4.
- The drop in Cranston should be 5 to 10 times bigger than the drop in Central Falls…
- …but it’s not. The drop in Central Falls is more than 5 times larger than the drop in Cranston.
If Mr. Jerzyk is sitting on some data source that he’s not telling anyone about, now is the time to release it. If not, then someone should be looking into the exact nature of the reverse-redlining that was apparently going on in Providence, because if the problem was only unscrupulous salesmanship, it is unlikely that Providence would be affected so much more disproportionately on a per-capita basis than Pawtucket or Central Falls. Is it possible that lending rules were being relaxed, even further than in other places, for housing with Providence zip-codes? If so, at what level in the mortgage process was that decision made?