Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Focus on Mesa County Foreclosures

As a follow-up to the April foreclosure data released today:

In recent years, the foreclosure trends in Mesa County have stood out as quite different from the other 11 metro counties. Mesa County is the only western slope county among the metropolitan counties, and foreclosure trends can differ greatly between the Front Range and the rest of the state.

In the following graphs, we look at how Mesa County has differed from the other metro counties and regions.

In the first graph, we can see that, unlike the other counties, foreclosure sales totals more or less tripled between early 2009 and early 2010. At the same time, none of the other metro areas saw this kind of growth. The Front Range did see this kind of growth back in 2006 and 2007, but we don't have monthly data for that period, and it's not on the graph here. Nevertheless, what this does tell us is that Mesa County entered its own growth period well after the other metro regions did, and that, while other areas have started to decline in foreclosure activity, Mesa County is holding steady, and even still increasing slightly in some periods.

As noted before, this is due to the fact that the real estate market in Mesa County experienced more demand for real estate than the Front Range after 2007. By 2007, most metro areas were already past the peak in real estate prices and demand, but a high demand for real estate in Mesa County persisted into 2008 thanks to oil and gas job growth at the time.

We can also see in the graph that, lately, Mesa County has reported more foreclosure sales than the much more populous Larimer County, which really highlights just how much the foreclosure rate in Mesa County has grown.

In the second graph, we see the year over year change in foreclosure sales in the various regions. Back in March 2010, foreclosure sales had increased more than 800% over March 2009. Between January of 2009 and the summer of 2010, Mesa County YOY changes were well above the other areas.

If we look very carefully at the graph, we can also see that, while Mesa County is still seeing some slight year over year growth in foreclosure sales, most of the other regions are now below the X axis, which shows that these areas are in a state of decline in the year over year comparisons. Mesa County has not yet reached this point.

And finally, the last graph looks at the YOY changes in a slightly different way. This last graph emphasizes that if we pull Mesa County out from the other counties, we can see just how different is the trend from the other metro areas.