Rocky start for local foreclosures in 2010

Mesa County had the highest percentage increase of completed and initiated foreclosures among the 12 most populous counties in Colorado this January compared to last January, according to a report released Wednesday by the Colorado Division of Housing.

Mesa County led the 11 Front Range counties mentioned in the report with the greatest percentage increase in January 2010 compared to January 2009 in initial foreclosure filings, and it had the greatest percentage increase this January compared to January 2008. The foreclosures initiated in January 2010 were more than double the amount initiated in January 2009 and more than triple the amount initiated in January 2008.

Mesa County also led the field in foreclosure-sale increases. The foreclosures completed in January 2010 were more than four times the amount completed in January 2009 and nearly six times the amount completed in January 2008.

Foreclosure completions jumped 338 percent from last January to this January and increased 483 percent from the first month of 2008 to the first month of 2010.

Eight of the 12 counties experienced a decline in foreclosure filings from January 2008, when foreclosures on the Front Range had been on the rise for months, to January 2010. Mesa County didn’t fully join the trend until 2009. In all but two counties, Mesa and Boulder, foreclosure sales decreased in the first month of 2010 compared to the first month of 2008.

The Mesa County Public Trustee’s office has received 106 new foreclosure filings this month, as of Feb. 19, according to Deputy Public Trustee Sharon Ener.

When it comes to completed foreclosures going on the auction list, Ener said, “We’re not selling any hardly at all.”

Mesa County placed seventh among the 12 counties for total foreclosure filings last month and 10th in foreclosure sales.

Meanwhile, Mesa County received some positive real estate news this week. Home sales were up 46 percent in January 2010 compared with January 2009. According to the Colorado Association of Realtors, 99 homes were sold in the Grand Junction metropolitan area this January, compared with 68 homes sold in January 2009.

Home sales may be up, but prices continue to decline. The average home sale price was $206,667 in January 2009 and dropped to $192,222 in January 2010.


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