Thursday, March 2, 2017

Foreclosures in Colorado's metro counties fell 6.9 percent from 2015 to 2016.

Foreclosure activity continued to fall in 2016 in Colorado's 12 metropolitan counties. In Colorado's 11 most populous counties plus Broomfield County,  new foreclosure filings were down 6.9 percent while foreclosure sales at auction — the point at which the foreclosing property is auctioned off to the bank or other buyer — were down 26.5 percent. The first chart shows all counties measured, and the year over year change from 2015 to 2016:

Except for Mesa and Denver counties, foreclosure filings fell in all counties. And, when it came to foreclosure sales at auction — the final and most serious phase of foreclosure — only Mesa county reported an increase from 2015 to 2016.

Annual foreclosure totals in these counties have fallen off significantly in recent years:

If we look at monthly totals, we see a similar trend — with foreclosure activity falling to some of the lowest levels we've seen since I began tracking monthly numbers in 2008. The first graph shows just how far totals have fallen since they peaked in 2008 and 2009. In December, we can see that new foreclosure filings ticked up slightly, while sales totals remained near all-time lows:

For all counties combined, filings were down in December 2016 by 17.4 percent, year over year, while sales at auction were down 29.2 percent. 

Here are filings: 

 And here are sales totals:

Only Mesa and Broomfield Counties reported increases in filings (the Broomfield numbers were tiny overall), while only Adams, Boulder, and Pueblo counties reported increases in sales. In general however, it's safe to say that foreclosures in the state continue to be at at least ten-year lows.  

As a final note, we can see which counties have the most or fewest foreclosures in relation to the number of households overall. The following chart shows the foreclosure rate given as the number of foreclosure sales adjusted for the number of households in each county (based on 2015 household totals): 

By this measure — in which a higher number indicates fewer foreclosures per person — we see that with zero foreclosure sales, Broomfield has the lowest rate, but Douglas County also shows a very foreclosure rate compared to other counties, with more than 57,000 households per foreclosure sale. Pueblo and Mesa counties — as has been the case for several years — show some of the highest foreclosure rates with Mesa showing just over 2,300 households per foreclosure sale. 

Generally, higher income areas with more demand for real estate tend to show lower foreclosure rates while areas with lower incomes tend to have higher foreclosure rates. 

This data is just the latest confirmation that demand for real estate in Colorado continues to be strong. In an environment such as we have today, even a household that goes into foreclosure can usually find a buyer before the property enters the foreclosure process. Thus, high demand for homes leads to few foreclosures, even as some households become delinquent on their loans.  

Note on the data: all foreclosure numbers are collected from the public trustee in each county measured.