Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Foreclosure filings inch up in February

Foreclosure filings were up slightly in Colorado during February, although foreclosure auction sales fell to a five-year low. According to a report released Wednesday by the Colorado Division of Housing, foreclosure filings in Colorado’s metropolitan counties were up 3.5 percent last month compared to February of last year, rising from 1,986 to 2,056. Over the same period, foreclosure auction sales were down 6.7 percent, falling to the lowest February sales total recorded since 2008.

Among the counties surveyed, there were 1,248 foreclosure auction sales during February of this year, compared to 1,338 sales during February of last year.

From January 2012 to February 2012, foreclosure filings rose 6.0 percent while foreclosure auction sales rose 8.5 percent. In recent years, from January to February, foreclosure filings have tended to change little, while foreclosure auction sales have tended to fall.

“Foreclosure auction sales have now been down thirteen of the last fourteen months, comparing year over year, and this continues a trend of diminished foreclosure filings that we’ve been seeing since the fall of 2010,” said Ryan McMaken, a spokesman with the Colorado Division of Housing. “On the other hand, filings were up a bit in February compared to last year, and this may reflect a renewed effort by lenders to process foreclosures in the wake of the recent legal settlement with the states and the feds.”

During February, the counties with the largest changes in foreclosure filings, year over year, were Boulder and Broomfield counties, where filings decreased by 23.5 percent and 25 percent, respectively. Mesa County, on the other hand, reported a 32.1 percent increase in foreclosure filings during the same period.

Five of twelve counties surveyed showed decreases in foreclosure auction sales in February 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 Weld County, where auction sales decreased by 52.6 percent and 18.3 percent, respectively. Mesa County and Adams County reported the largest increases in auction sales with increases of 18.8 percent and 19.2 percent, respectively.

The county with the highest rate of foreclosure sales during February was Mesa County with a rate of 706 households per foreclosure sale. Adams County came in second with 858 households per foreclosure sale. The lowest rate was found in Boulder County where there were 2,716 households per foreclosure sale.

The Division of Housing’s monthly foreclosure report surveys foreclosure activity in the twelve largest counties of Colorado. The report is a supplement to the Division’s quarterly foreclosure report that includes all counties in Colorado.