Friday, February 11, 2011

Regional analysis of recent foreclosure totals

I've made some regional comparisons of foreclosure totals since 2003 based on Division of Housing and Public Trustee Association data:

The first graph shows Colorado as a whole. Note that following 2007, Colorado began to decline in both filings and sales. This was at least partly due to a significant increase in the amount of foreclosure prevention activity going on in Colorado. Note also that the initial build-up in foreclosures from 2003-2007 is all pre-recession. Layoffs did not become a significant factor in Colorado's economy until 2008.

By the end of 2008, however, layoffs were an increasing factor, and by 2009, the number of foreclosure filings was pushed up. Then, in 2010, the number of foreclosure sales increased as the expected response to a large number of new filings. In other words, Colorado is still dealing with the large number of foreclosures that entered the pipeline in 2009 due to layoffs.

The area that has shown the most improvement as a region is the core of the metro Denver area. Note in chart 2 that in Adams/Arapahoe/Denver, totals have never topped the initial 2007 peak.

Graphs 3 and 4 show the behavior of foreclosures in Weld County and El Paso County. Neither have seen the sorts of slow improvement enjoyed in the metro Denver core.

We do find a noticable difference in the trends when we look to the Western Slope and to the rural resort counties. I've put together Grand, Eagle, Summit and Garfield Counties to get a sense of the trend in counties that traditionally have been connected to rural resort economies. Foreclosures in these counties are up considerably since 2008. In fact, foreclosure sales in the rural resort sample are up 401 percent since 2008, and filings are up 182 percent since 2008.

In the final chart, we see Mesa County which has also seen a lot of growth in foreclosures since the recession set in there in 2008. Much of this was due to job losses from a drop in oil and gas activity in 2008. Foreclosure sales are up 860 percent since 2008, and filings are up 278 percent since 2008.