Saturday, November 25, 2017

Foreclosure Sales Hit All-Time Low in September

Foreclosure sales in Colorado's metropolitan counties fell to a total of 95 in September, coming in at the lowest total ever recorded since this survey was begun in 2007. During the same period, there were 415 foreclosure filings.

This continues a multi-year trend of declining foreclosure activity, as we can see in the graph. September's foreclosure sales total was the lowest ever recorded with the next smallest being June's total of 106.

Foreclosure filings, meanwhile, we up slightly from all-time high's but remained near the lowest levels we've seen in the last decade. An all-time low was reached in July of this year when foreclosure filings totals dropped to 394.

These figures are totals for Colorado's 11 most-populous counties, plus Broomfield County. Foreclosure filings are the event that begins the foreclosure process, and foreclosure sales occur at the end of the process when properties are sold at auction, often going to the lender.

In the second graph, we see year-over-year changes in total foreclosure filings and sales. In September 2017, filings were down slightly from September 2016, dropping by 5.25 percent. Foreclosure sales dropped by much more, falling 38.8 percent year over year. As we can see in the graph, both filings and sales have been dropping each month for the past 10 months, and the overall trend for both filings and sales has clearly been downward since 2012.

Many counties differ in their foreclosure trends, and the number of foreclosure compared to the overall number of households can vary considerably.

If we look at foreclosure filings in each county on a per household basis, we find that Pueblo County has the fewest households per foreclosure — only 394 households per foreclosure — while Larimer County has the most — 2,771 households per foreclosure. Note that a larger number means fewer foreclosures in relation to population size. In other words, the larger the number of households per foreclosure, the lower the "foreclosure rate."

Also note that the counties with the lowest foreclosure rate tend to be higher-income counties such as Boulder and Douglas counties. Pueblo, Mesa, and Adams counties, on the other hand — which have higher foreclosure rates — have lower overall income levels.

A similar trend holds when we make the same comparisons using foreclosure sales. Pueblo has the fewest households per foreclosure sale (2,723) while Broomfield County reported no foreclosure sales at all.

Some counties are certainly more foreclosure-free than others. But, even those counties that have some of the highest foreclosure rates, relatively speaking, are still way down in their foreclosure totals from what we were seeing back in 2009 and 2010. Foreclosure activity continues to be at very low levels across all metro areas for now.

(This data is collected from the Public Trustee in each county.)