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Sales of Houses Repossessions Surged 60 Percent in Colorado

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Sales of houses repossessions climbed up in Colorado in January this year amid a decline in foreclosure filings, based on records from the Colorado Division of Housing.

A total of 1,917 foreclosed homes in Colorado were sold in January, an increase of over 60 percent from January last year. In contrast, foreclosure filings slowed by 3.2 percent to 2,729 filings from 2,819 filings in January last year.

Division officials said that foreclosure sales typically lag filings by 6 to 8 months. Compared to housing activity in January 2008, both sales and filings slowed down.

In Weld County, foreclosure sales involved 161 units, a 71.3-percent jump from January 2009 but a 31.2-percent drop from January 2008. Similar to the statewide trend, filings also slowed, with 213 foreclosure cases filed, a drop of almost 18 percent from January last year and 16 percent from 2008.

Larimer County also followed the state trend, posting 137 foreclosure filings, down by 10.5 percent from January 2009 but up nearly 27 percent from 2008. Sales of 98 houses repossessions were posted in January, a 53-percent jump from January 2009 but 12.5-percent down from 2008.

According to real estate analysts, in addition to sharply rising unemployment, negative equity has been a major cause in continued defaults and foreclosures across the country.

Nationwide, according to a real estate information firm, 24 percent of homeowners with mortgage loans had negative equity in the final quarter of 2009, an increase from 23 percent in the previous quarter.

In Colorado, more than 20 percent of owners of mortgaged homes had negative equity and another 8 percent nearing the underwater situation.

In the Loveland-Fort Collins metro area, almost 9 percent of homeowners with mortgage loans were underwater and another 6 percent were nearing the negative-equity situation.

In Greeley, 37 percent had negative equity and another 10.2 percent were approaching the underwater situation. To get the negative equity estimates, the research firm studied details of 47 million mortgage loans in the country, which cover over 85 percent of all home loans in the country.

In December last year, the unemployment in Colorado rose to 7.5 percent from 5.8 percent in December 2008, based on data from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. The number of unemployed Colorado residents increased by 14,900 to 198,400 in December.

In another foreclosure report for January this year, although foreclosure activity slowed possibly due to the post-holiday atmosphere, Colorado still posted a total of 1,782 houses repossessions during the month.

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