By Howard Pankratz
The Denver Post
Foreclosure filings in Colorado’s largest counties dropped 31.4 percent in May compared to the year-ago month, hitting the lowest level for the month since the state began tracking in 2007.
Colorado Division of Housing economist Ryan McMaken said Tuesday there were 763 filings, down from 1,113. Foreclosure auction sales dropped 45 percent to 396 from 720.
“We’re looking at an eight-year low for May foreclosures, and both filings and sales have fallen, year-over-year, for the past 19 months,” McMaken said. “The downward trend is likely to continue as long as employment is stable and we continue to see rather low mortgage rates.”
McMaken said the 763 foreclosure filings in May were the second lowest on record. The lowest number since tracking began was 656 filings recorded in November 2013.
Fewer auction sales were recorded only in April 2008, with 370, and November 2013 at 386.
Foreclosure filings begin the foreclosure process, and foreclosure auction sales are the total number of foreclosures that have been sold at auction at the end of the process.
Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, El Paso, Jefferson, Larimer, Mesa, Pueblo and Weld counties were included in the analysis. The 12 represent 82 percent of the foreclosure activity in the state.
McMaken also looked at year-to-date through May 2014, compared to the same period last year.
All counties surveyed reported year-to-date declines in filings, except for El Paso, which reported a 0.6 percent increase.
Foreclosure auction sales were down in all counties surveyed in the year-to-date numbers.
Year-to-date, Boulder County filings fell 37.9 percent; Broomfield fell 53.4 percent; Douglas declined 48.4 percent; Arapahoe fell 23.5 percent; and Denver, 31.5 percent.
Boulder County’s foreclosure auction sales in the year-to-date comparisons fell 58.3 percent; Broomfield fell 44.4 percent; Douglas declined 45.2 percent; Arapahoe fell 50.1 percent; and Denver 39.8 percent.
Earlier this month, McMaken, looking at foreclosure filings for the first quarter of 2014, said foreclosure filings were nearly as low as they could go.
He noted that foreclosure filings in the first quarter of 2014 fell 24.7 percent to 3,441, 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.