Thursday, February 2, 2012

Housing News Digest, February 2

Foreclosures Draw Private Equity as U.S. Sells Homes
Private equity firms are jumping into distressed housing as the U.S. government plans to market 200,000 foreclosed homes as rentals to speed up the economic recovery.

GTIS Partners will spend $1 billion by 2016 acquiring single-family homes to manage as rentals, Thomas Shapiro, the fund’s founder said. That followed announcements this month that GI Partners, a Menlo Park private equity fund, expects to invest $1 billion, and Los Angeles-based Oaktree Capital Management LP will spend $450 million on similar housing.

Foreclosure filings drop in Larimer County, statewide

The number of foreclosure sales at auction, a statistic that indicates completed foreclosures, also declined between 2010 and 2011, dropping 17 percent statewide and 13 percent in Larimer County.

In 2011, 782 Larimer County properties were sold at auction, down from 903 in 2010, according to the report.

In Weld County, new filings fell 30 percent from year to year, and completed foreclosure sales dropped 26 percent.

Boulder County foreclosure filings down 29 percent on year
Boulder County had 233 foreclosure filings in the fourth quarter of 2011, a 31.5 percent drop from the 340 the previous year. Eighty-four foreclosure sales occurred in the quarter, a 24 percent drop from the 111 in the fourth quarter of 2010.

For the year, Boulder County had 965 foreclosure filings and 496 foreclosed-on homes sold.

Colorado foreclosures fall to lowest levels since 2006
The new report covers the entire state of Colorado. A separate monthly report series covers only the state’s 12 largest urban counties.

The most recent urban counties report, covering November 2011, said the 12 counties saw a year-over-year rise in foreclosure sales at auction for the first time in 14 months, but foreclosures for the first 11 months of 2011 were still well below 2010 levels.

Foreclosure activity plunged last year in region

El Paso County Public Trustee Tom Mowle also foresees a reduction in foreclosure filings locally this year; he expects Colorado Springs-area filings to total about 3,000 in 2012, which would be about an 8 percent year-over-year decline.

There still are many homeowners with so-called exotic loans whose mortgage rates are set to increase, putting them in danger of falling into foreclosure, Mowle said. But the pool of such homeowners has dwindled, he said.

Foreclosures down 25 percent in Colorado in 2011

All 12 of the state's metropolitan counties reported drops in both foreclosure filings and auction sales during 2011.

From 2010 to 2011, Adams County filings fell 27 percent and Denver County filings fell 32 percent. Foreclosure filings in Mesa County fell 28 percent during the same period.

Most of the state's 64 counties reported year-over-year declines in foreclosure filings.

Those counties that did experience increases were generally found on the Western Slope and outside the Front Range.