Foreclosure activity slowing in Mesa County

Property foreclosure activity continues to slow in Mesa County with year-over-year declines in both filings and sales during February.

Nonetheless, Mesa County stills ranks second among 12 metropolitan counties in Colorado for the highest foreclosure rate.

According to the latest statistics from the Colorado Division of Housing, 81 foreclosure filings and 69 foreclosure sales were reported in Mesa County in February.

Filings constitute the beginning the legal foreclosure process. Filings can be cured or withdrawn before properties are sold, however. Sales indicate how many properties have been sold at the end of the foreclosure process with ownership reverting to the lender or passing to a third party. Because of the period between filings and sales, the two don’t occur in the same month.

The number of filings in Mesa County was down more than 31 percent from January and 43 percent from February 2010.

The number of sales was down nearly 13 percent from January and almost 7 percent from February 2010.

On a year-to-year basis, foreclosure filings have dropped three straight months in Mesa County. Foreclosure sales dropped in December and February, although not January.

Through the first two months of 2011, a total of 199 foreclosures and 148 sales have been reported in Mesa County. Those totals constitute a nearly 31 percent decrease in filings, but an almost 3 percent increase in sales over the same two months last year.

For February 2011, Mesa County was among 11 metropolitan counties in Colorado reporting year-over-year declines in foreclosure filings with the fourth largest proportional decrease. Those declines ranged from almost 21 percent in Adams County to nearly 52 percent in Douglas County. Filings held steady in Broomfield County.

Mesa County also was among 11 metro counties reporting declines in foreclosure sales, but had the smallest proportional decrease. Douglas County reported a drop of nearly 39 percent. Denver County reported an increase of more than 9 percent.

Mesa County reported a foreclosure rate of one sale for every  804 households, a ratio that ranks second highest among the 12 metro counties. Weld County reported the highest rate at one sale for every 785 households, while Pueblo County was a close third with one sale for every 843 households.

Counting the totals for the 12 metro counties, foreclosure filings dropped nearly 35 percent over the past year, from 3,042 to 1,986. Foreclosure sales dropped almost 20 percent, from 1,664 to 1,338.

An analysis of a six-month moving average reflects a downward trend for sales since June, while filings have been flat since November.