Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Colorado foreclosure filings fall to another new low in February

Foreclosure filings in metro counties were down 43.6 percent in Colorado metro counties during February 2013, falling year over year to the lowest level recorded in any month since the Division of Housing began collecting monthly totals in 2007. According to a report released Wednesday by the Colorado Division of Housing, foreclosure auction sales in Colorado’s metropolitan counties were down 41.9 percent in February this year compared to February of last year, falling from 1,248 to 725. Over the same period, foreclosure filings dropped from 2,056 to 1,160.

For the first two months of the year combined, from January through February, foreclosure filings were down 34.5 percent in 2013 when compared to the same period last year. Foreclosure auction sales were down 31.0 percent over the same period.

Foreclosure filings are the initial filing that begins the foreclosure process, and foreclosure auction sales totals are the total number of foreclosures that have been sold at auction at the end of the foreclosure process.
“There are few ways to describe this other than as a big drop off in foreclosure filings,” said Ryan McMaken, an economist for the Colorado Division of Housing. “It’s getting easier to sell a house to get out of trouble. Low mortgage rates and low inventory continue to be big factors.”

Comparing foreclosures through February this year to the same period last year, the counties with the largest drops in foreclosure filings were Douglas and Larimer counties where filings decreased by 44.5 percent and 41.2 percent, respectively. Broomfield County, on the other hand, reported a 6.1 percent increase in foreclosure filings over the same period. Broomfield County was the only county surveyed to report an increase in foreclosure filings.

All of the twelve counties surveyed showed decreases in foreclosure auction sales during the first two months of this year when compared to the same period last year. The counties with the largest decreases in foreclosure auction sales, year over year, were Denver County and Jefferson County where auction sales decreased by 46.3 percent and 41.0 percent, respectively. The smallest decreases for the period were found in El Paso and Pueblo counties where auction sales fell 1.9 percent and 20.1 percent, respectively.

The county with the highest rate of foreclosure sales during February was Mesa County with a rate of 1,022 households per foreclosure sale. Pueblo County came in second with 1,351households per foreclosure sale. The lowest rate was found in Boulder County where there were 6,383 households per foreclosure sale.
The Division of Housing’s monthly foreclosure report surveys foreclosure activity in the twelve metropolitan counties of Colorado. The report is a supplement to the Division’s quarterly foreclosure report that includes all counties in Colorado.