Mesa County foreclosure rate still tops among metro counties

While property foreclosure activity slowed during the third quarter compared to last year, Mesa County continued to experience the highest foreclosure rate among metropolitan counties in Colorado.

According to the latest statistics from the Colorado Division of Housing, 288 property foreclosure filings and 224 foreclosure sales were reported in Mesa County during the third quarter. Compared to the same span last year, filings decreased nearly 4 percent and sales slipped more than 2 percent.

Filings constitute the beginning of the foreclosure process, offering a leading indictor of potential sales. Filings can be cured or withdrawn, however, before sales occur. Sales indicate how many properties have been sold at auction at the end of the foreclosure process. Since foreclosed properties tend to sell for less than comparable properties on the market, foreclosure activity can pull down real estate prices.

Because of the period between filings and sales, the two don’t occur in the same quarter. Through the first three quarters of 2012, a total of 974 foreclosure filings and 645 foreclosure sales were reported in Mesa County. Compared to the same span last year, filings increased more than 17 percent, while sales dropped more than 7 percent.

The foreclosure rate as measured by the number of households per completed foreclosure stood at 260 for Mesa County for the third quarter of 2012. That number ranked eighth among the 64 Colorado counties, but first among the 12 metropolitan counties in the state.

Most of the counties reporting the highest foreclosures are located in mountainous areas. Summit County reported the highest rate of all with 132 households per completed foreclosures. Park and Grand counties ranked second and third, respectively.

In Western Colorado, Garfield County reported a rate of 274 households per completed foreclosure. Montrose County had 282, Delta County had 416 and Rio Blanco County had 449 households per completed foreclosure.

Among metro counties, Pueblo County ranked second with 287 households per completed foreclosure. Adams County ranked third with 342 households per completed foreclosure. By comparison, Boulder County reported the lowest foreclosure rate among metro counties with 1,290 households per completed foreclosure.

Statewide, 7,076 foreclosure filings and 4,138 sales were reported during the third quarter. Compared to the third quarter of 2011, filings fell nearly 12 percent and sales dropped almost 11 percent.

Through the first three quarters of 2012, 22,920 filings and 11,898 sales were reported. Compared to the first three quarter of 2011, filings slipped more than 2 percent, while sales tumbled nearly 24 percent.