Foreclosures down slightly in third quarter

Foreclosure filings in Mesa County continued a soft downward trend in the third quarter of 2012, dipping 3.7 percent year-over-year, according to a report released Thursday by the Colorado Division of Housing.

Mesa County experienced a 15.8 percent decrease quarter-to-quarter in foreclosure filings, with 288 filings handed out in the third quarter. Filings mark the beginning of the foreclosure process.

Completed foreclosures dropped slightly year-over-year by 2.2 percent but increased quarter-to-quarter by 19.1 percent. Between July and September, 224 Mesa County homes completed the foreclosure process and either had ownership turned over to lenders or sold to a new owner.

Broker Associate Jason Holm handles foreclosed homes for sale through Bray Real Estate. He said people are still buying foreclosed homes but he has routinely maintained about 50 foreclosed properties in Bray’s inventory for months.

“Throughout the third quarter inventory was steady, and as quickly as we were selling them we were getting more in,” he said.

Ryan McMaken, spokesman for the Colorado Division of Housing, said Mesa County has been headed in the right direction throughout 2012, but he expects progress toward a true, sustained drop in the local foreclosure rate will take awhile. Foreclosure rates have dropped considerably in the Denver metropolitan area, he said, but foreclosure filings began to increase there in 2004, he said. Mesa County, meanwhile, began a steep climb in filings at the end of 2008.

The same Front Range counties that were the first to have foreclosure issues are the same ones that saw the state’s first jumps in unemployment and then the first decreases in unemployment, McMaken said. Although Mesa County’s unemployment rate decreased to a 44-month low of 8.1 percent in September, he said the county is still behind in job recovery, which contributes to foreclosure rates.

“Unless there’s job creation, foreclosures will continue,” he said.


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