Petitions for new foreclosures in Somerville have increased slightly so far this year, while auctions of foreclosed homes slid, new housing statistics show.
Since January of this year, lenders started foreclosures on 21 properties, up from 17 in the same five-month period in 2011, according to the Warren Group, which tracks housing data throughout the state.
But the sale of already-foreclosed homes decreased, from 58 in the first five months of 2011, to 42 properties sold this year in the same period.
Deeds of foreclosed homes, the mark of a completed process, were almost level, at 12 so far this year, down from 13 through May 2011.
In May alone, petitions were unchanged from the same month last year at six; deeds of foreclosed homes were unmoved, too, at three for May 2011 and 2012.For town-by-town stats, click here.
Statewide, May was a foreclosure flashpoint, more than doubling the rate at which lenders in Massachusetts sought to foreclose on customers compared to the same month in 2011.
Banks started 1,724 foreclosures, up from 699 last year.
The $25 billion settlement between the country's largest lenders and state attorney generals is expected to jump-start the foreclosure landscape this year, said Cory Hopkins, editorial director of the Warren Group, which publishes Banker and Tradesman.
"In order to return to a healthier market, we need these distressed properties to get cleared from banks' books," Hopkins said in a statement. "The increased activity also leads to opportunity for buyers."
Foreclosure deeds, which represent completed foreclosures, increased more than 32 percent statewide to 755 in May from 571 in May 2011. A total of 3,736 foreclosure deeds have been recorded in the first five months of the year, up 31.3 percent from 2,846 at the same point last year.