Colorado foreclosure filings may be as low as they can go without a major economic boom, Department of Housing economist Ryan McMaken said Wednesday.
Foreclosure filings fell 24.7 percent to 3,441 in the first quarter, compared with 4,571 in the first quarter of 2013. The number of foreclosure sales dropped to 1,718, down 41.5 percent from 2,935 in the year-ago period.
"We would need a really excellent economy to get the numbers to go a whole lot lower than where they are now," McMaken said. "The rates will continue to be low in 2014, as long as the economy doesn't worsen significantly."
Although foreclosure activity was down year over year, filings and sales increased 15.4 percent in the first quarter, compared with the fourth quarter of 2013, with filings jumping 15.4 percent to 3,441 from 2,981, and sales climbing 4.1 percent to 1,718 from 1,650.
McMaken said he doesn't expect filings to continue to climb and blamed the bump on rising interest rates and slowing increases in home values.
Purchases and refinance deals pushed "release of deeds of trust activity through the roof in 2013," he said. "We also saw big home price increases in 2013. Then we saw that all start to moderate toward the end of the year. We saw interest rates start to head back up, and then we started to see — related no doubt — home prices start to moderate as well."
In 2013, 15,333 foreclosures were filed and 9,318 properties were sold, the lowest totals since 2004.