Denver Home Foreclosures Slowed, Bucked Colorado Trend- By: John Cutts
Denver home foreclosures slowed in 2009, in contrast to the upward trend of Colorado foreclosures, based on data from the state Division of Housing.
Last year, foreclosure filings statewide surged to 46,394 after holding steady below 40,000 in 2008 and in 2007. In contrast, filings in Denver County, which was one of the most battered Colorado counties over the past years, dropped by 28.8 percent in 2009 compared to 2008.
Similarly, in the final quarter of 2009, the pace of home foreclosures in Colorado surged, but the pace in metro Denver slowed. According to housing analysts, the intensity of foreclosure activity shifted from the central parts of the Denver metro area to counties outside the center as unemployment and wage reduction worsened in these outer areas.
The most battered by foreclosure in 2009 was Mesa County, which posted an increase of 175 percent in filings and a sharp jump of 223.4 percent in foreclosures sale. Drilling jobs declined in the area as the price of natural gas dropped. Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Grand Junction posted the biggest drop in jobs in 2009 among metro areas.
While the pace of Denver home foreclosures slowed, foreclosure activity in Colorado counties which previously escaped the devastation of the housing crisis suffered substantial foreclosures in 2009, such as Broomfield, Boulder, El Paso, Weld, Douglas and Larimer. These counties, including several rural counties, posted increases in foreclosure filings of at least 18 percent last year.
In the final quarter last year, the highest number of foreclosure postings occurred in Arapahoe County, which posted 1,597 filings. El Paso and Denver counties followed with 1,364 filings and 1,351 filings, respectively.
Based on foreclosure sales, however, the highest volume in the final quarter last year occurred in Mesa County, which sold 157 units, up by over 300 percent from the final quarter of 2008. Boulder County was next with 143 units sold, up by 28 percent from 112 units in the final quarter of 2008.
However, completed foreclosures statewide in 2009 dropped by 4 percent to 20,437, compared to the 21,306 completed in 2008 and by 18 percent compared to the 25,056 completed in 2007.
While actual foreclosures increased in Boulder, Weld and El Paso by 6 percent, 4 percent and 11 percent, respectively in 2009, completed Denver home foreclosures declined. However, concerns about foreclosures still abound because new foreclosure filings statewide in 2009 rose by 18 percent.
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John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.