Mesa County foreclosure rate highest among Colorado metro counties

Mesa County experiences the highest property foreclosure rate among 12 metropolitan counties in Colorado, according to the latest results of a monthly report.

According to statistics compiled by the Colorado Division of Housing, foreclosure filings and sales increased in February on a year-over-year basis in Mesa County. With one foreclosure sale for every 706 households, the foreclosure rate was higher in Mesa County during February than in any of 11 other metropolitan counties in the state.

According to the report, Mesa County reported 107 foreclosure filings and 82 foreclosure sales in February. Compared to the same month last year, filings increased more than 32 percent, while sales climbed almost 19 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 Filings can be cured or withdrawn before properties are sold, however.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.

Foreclosure sales pull down real estate prices because foreclosed properties tend to sell for less than other comparable properties on the market.

Through the first two months of 2012, a total of 200 foreclosure filings and 159 sales were reported in Mesa County. Compared to the same span in 2011, filings have held steady even as sales have increased 7.4 percent. A total of 2,056 filings and 1,248 sales were reported in the 12 metro counties for February.

Compared to the same month last year, filings rose 3.5 percent even as sales dropped 6.7 percent. Mesa County experienced the largest proportional increase among eight counties reporting year-over-year increases in filings. Mesa County ranked second among seven counties reporting year-over-year increases in sales. Adams County ranked first proportionally with a 19.2 percent gain.

The foreclosure rate as measured by the number of households for each foreclosure sale increased in Mesa County in February compared to the same month last year. For February 2012, Adams County reported the second-highest foreclosure rate of one sale for every 858 households. Pueblo County was a close third with one sale for every 865 households. In contrast, Boulder County reported the lowest foreclosure rate with one sale for every 2,716 households.