Thursday, November 8, 2012

Foreclosure auction sales down 24 percent during 2012

New foreclosure auction sales were down 23.6 percent in Colorado through September of 2012 compared to the same period of 2011. According to a report released today by the Colorado Division of Housing, there were 4,138 foreclosure auction sales, or completed foreclosures, reported during the third quarter of 2012, compared to 4,627 during the third quarter of last year. Through September this year, there were 11,898 auction sales, and 15,565 auctions sales through September of last year.

New foreclosure filings fell slightly through September of this year, falling 2.2 percent from 2011 to 2012. Foreclosure filing totals for the third quarter alone this year were down 11.8 percent, falling to 7,076 from 2011’s third-quarter total of 8,061. Through September of this year, 22,920 new filings were reported which puts Colorado on pace to finish the year with the lowest foreclosure filings total since 2006. 23,438 new foreclosure filings were filed from January through September of last year.

“Completed foreclosures continue to head down at a steady pace,” said Ryan McMaken, economist for the Colorado Division of Housing. “As home sales and home prices, rise, it’s getting a little easier to avoid that final foreclosure sale through a short sale or even a conventional sale.”

Ten of the state’s twelve metropolitan counties reported year-over-year declines in the number of foreclosure auction sales occurring during the first nine months of the year. Auction sales declined 34.0 percent and 36.5 percent in Denver and Douglas counties, respectively. Pueblo County showed an increase of 3.4 percent year over year for the first nine months of the year.

Those counties that did experience year-over-year increases in auction sales this year were generally found outside the Front Range, and include several Western Slope and mountain counties such as Montezuma, Moffat, and Fremont counties.

Mountain counties were also found among the state’s counties with the highest foreclosure rates including Summit, Park and Grand counties. Boulder, meanwhile, reported the fifth-lowest foreclosure rate of all Colorado counties.

“Employment is now showing up as an important factor in driving down foreclosure rates in some areas,” McMaken said. “Boulder and Larimer counties, where the unemployment rates are among the best in the state, are seeing some of the biggest declines in foreclosures and foreclosure rates right now.”

Foreclosure sales are opened foreclosures that have proceeded through the full foreclosure process to final sale at public auction. Filings denote the beginning of the foreclosure process, and once a foreclosure is filed, the borrower has at least 110-120 days to work with the lender to avoid a completed foreclosure. It is during this period that borrowers work with lenders and housing counselors to work out loan modifications, short sales, or other ways of withdrawing the foreclosure.