Foreclosures down, but housing still flat

Foreclosure filings and sales in November in Mesa County declined from a month and a year earlier, but the area continues to lag behind much of the rest of the state in terms of a rebound in the housing market.

The Colorado Division of Housing reported last week that last month’s completed foreclosures and foreclosure filings, the latter of which is an indicator of future foreclosure activity and mortgage delinquency, in the state’s 12 metropolitan areas fell to six-year lows.

The report indicated foreclosure filings dropped 37 percent, from 2,296 in November 2011 to 1,450 last month, while sales dropped 32 percent, from 1,290 in November 2011 to 880 last month.

In Mesa County, filings were down 29 percent (from 101 to 72) and sales fell 27 percent (70 to 51). The 72 filings were the fewest since March 2011, according to Division of Housing spokesman Ryan McMaken.

McMaken said the year-over-year decline in sales in Mesa County is a bit deceiving because there were five Wednesdays in November 2011, compared to four this year. Wednesday is the day public trustees hold foreclosure auction sales.

Filings and sales dropped 46 percent (from 133 to 72) and 42 percent (from 88 to 51), respectively, compared to October, according to the Division of Housing.

“If you continue to get these (foreclosure filing) numbers down in the 70s and below, that would be good news,” McMaken said.

While declines in both categories in the foreclosure process is good news, Mesa County’s economy continues to demonstrate it isn’t recovering as quickly as other metro areas in Colorado.

Mesa County’s foreclosure rate last month dropped from the year before, with 1 foreclosure for every 1,143 households compared to 1 for every 832 households in November 2011. But the rate still is the highest among the 12 metro areas. The rate in Arapahoe County, where the state’s third largest city, Aurora, resides, is nearly half (1 foreclosure for every 2,045 households) that of Mesa County.

And through the first 11 months of this year, Mesa County’s foreclosure filings increased 18 percent over the same period last year. It was the only metro county in the state to report an increase in filings. Mesa County’s foreclosure sales so far this year, meanwhile, have slipped nearly 3 percent, from 805 to 784.


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