Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New foreclosure filings fall 3 percent in January

Click here for full report.

Foreclosure filings in Colorado’s largest counties fell 3 percent last month as compared to January of last year. According to a report released today by the Department of Local Affairs’ Division of Housing, foreclosure sales at auction rose 61 percent during January, but remain down 29 percent compared to 2008. New foreclosure filings were down 17 percent compared to January of 2008.

According to the report, "The increase in foreclosure sales rates between January 2009 and January 2010 can in part be attributed to an exceptionally low number of foreclosures proceeding to sale during the early months of 2009. This resulted from a series of moratoria on foreclosures imposed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other large owners of mortgage loans. The moratoria prevented foreclosures from proceeding to the end of the process, but did not reflect overall improvement in the real estate markets. As the moratoria were phased out in the Spring of 2009, foreclosure sales totals began to increase."

Foreclosure filings are the initial filing that begins the foreclosure process, and foreclosure sales totals are the total number of foreclosures that have been sold at auction at the end of the foreclosure process.

According to the report “Recent movements in foreclosure sales and filings reflect recent overall trends, as monthly sales totals have moved upward and monthly filings totals have moved downward” and that “movements in foreclosure sales reflect movement in foreclosure filings, but lag by six to eight months” The report concludes that if “the current relationship between filings and sales continues, foreclosure sales will begin to fall again during Spring 2010.”

Foreclosure activity varied by county. The counties with the largest decreases from January 2009 to January 2010 in filings activity were Douglas County and Denver County, where filings decreased by 26 percent and 17 percent, respectively. The largest increase was in Mesa County where filings increased 159 percent year-over-year.

Foreclosure sales activity increased in all metropolitan counties during January of this year compared to January of 2009. The smallest increase was in Denver County where sales increased 19 percent. The largest increase was found in Mesa County where foreclosure filings increased 337 percent from January 2009 to January 2010. However, measuring changes in foreclosure sales activity since 2008, all counties reported falling foreclosure sales except Boulder and Mesa Counties.

The county with the highest rate of foreclosure sales was Weld County with a rate of 532 households per foreclosure sale. Adams County was a close second with 535 households per foreclosure sale. The lowest rate was found in Boulder County where there were 1,779 households per foreclosure sale. The largest increase in foreclosure rates since 2009 was found in Mesa County where the foreclosure rate more than tripled year-over-year. See Table 3 for comparisons.

The Division of Housing’s monthly foreclosure report surveys foreclosure activity in the twelve largest counties of Colorado. The report is a supplement to the Division’s quarterly foreclosure report that includes all counties in Colorado.