Mesa County foreclosure rate high despite declining activity

Mesa County continues to experience the highest property foreclosure rate among metropolitan counties in Colorado despite a substantial decline in foreclosure activity over the past year.

According to the latest statistics compiled by the Colorado Division of Housing, a foreclosure rate of one completed foreclosure for every 1,022 households was reported in Mesa County in February. That ranks highest among the 12 metro counties for which rates were reported for the month.

Pueblo County reported the second highest rate at one  completed foreclosure for every 1,351 households. Weld County came in third with one foreclosure for every 1,632 households. By contrast, Boulder County reported the lowest rate with one foreclosure for every 6,383 households.

According to the Colorado Division of Housing, Mesa County reported 60 foreclosure filings and 57 sales in February. Compared to the same month last year, filings decreased 43.9 percent and sales dropped 30.5 percent.

Filings constitute the beginning of the foreclosure process and, consequently, offer a leading indicator of subsequent activity. Filings can be cured or withdrawn before properties are sold, however. Sales indicate how many properties have been sold at auction at the end of the foreclosure process. Because of the period between filings and foreclosures, the two don’t occur in the same month.

Through the first two months of 2013, a total of 120 filings and 107 sales were reported in Mesa County. Compared to the same two-month span in 2012, filings decreased 40 percent and sales retreated 32.7 percent.

For the 12-month period ending in February 2013, 1,166 filings and 795 sales were reported. Compared to the same span ending in February 2012, filings edged down 1.3 percent and sales dropped 8.1 percent.

Counting the totals for all 12 metro counties in Colorado, 1,160 filings and 725 sales were reported for February 2013. Compared to the same month last year, filings decreased 43.6 percent to the lowest point recorded in any month since the Colorado Division of Housing began keeping monthly records in 2007. Sales decreased 41.9 percent to the lowest level recorded in a February during the past seven years.

According to an analysis of a six-month moving average for the 12 counties, foreclosure filings peaked in 2009. Foreclosure sales subsequently peaked in 2010 and have declined since then.