GC foreclosures rise | SkyHiNews.com

GC foreclosures rise

Reid Tulley
Grand County, CO Colorado

Grand County ranks seventh in Colorado for foreclosures with a rate of 0.45 percent and 1 in 222 homes completing foreclosure for the first seven months of 2012, according to a Colorado Division of Housing foreclosure report.

While foreclosure rates are up, the number of building permits issued by the county for single family homes has doubled since this time last year.

Grand County has seen a 22.5 percent increase in the number of foreclosure fillings from 2011 and an 11.5 percent increase in foreclosure sales, according to the report.

The filings for foreclosures represents how many borrowers are seriously delinquent on home loans, while foreclosure sales numbers reflect how many borrowers have lost all equity on a property as a result of the property being sold at auction.

While Grand County has seen a rise in the number of foreclosures this year, the state of Colorado has seen a decrease.

The total number of filings for foreclosures in the state of Colorado is 0.21 percent or one out of every 469 homes. This number is down 3.7 percent from the first quarter of 2011. The number of completed foreclosures in the state of Colorado fell 24.7 percent during the same time period.

“Two major factors are that employment has stabilized in the state and that a much smaller number of new home loans have been made in Colorado since 2008,” the Colorado Division of Housing report says.

No obvious reason

The process for filing and completing a foreclosure takes a minimum of 110 days and can take much longer in some instances, so the number of completed foreclosures often represents the number of filings from an earlier quarter.

Information provided by Christina Whitmer, the Grand County treasurer and public trustee, shows that 113 foreclosures have taken place in Grand County as of July 2012, compared to 105 foreclosures that took place during the same time last year, a 7.6 percent increase.

There were no indicators that show why foreclosures have increased in Grand County this year, said Whitmer.

“What’s very interesting is tax collection is going excellent. We just still see foreclosures coming in,” she said.

According to the report from the Colorado Division of Housing, counties with small populations are prone to very volatile foreclosure rates as a small rise or fall in the total number of foreclosures can significantly change the foreclosure rate in a small county for a quarter.

The Colorado Housing Division report lists San Juan County, with a 0.86 percent foreclosure rate, and Eagle County, with a 0.61 percent foreclosure rate, as the top two counties for foreclosures during the first quarter of 2012.

No indicator exists as to why foreclosure rates in Grand County have gone up during the first quarter of this year after a steady decline in foreclosure rates, for both Colorado and Grand County, has been occurring since the initial peak in 2009.

In 2009 and 2010, foreclosures in the county rose close to 150 foreclosures during the first quarter and peaked at nearly 250 foreclosures by the end of both years.

In 2007, the year before the housing bubble burst, there were only 50 foreclosures by the end of the year.

Building rebounds slightly

While foreclosure rates are up in Grand County, so are the amount of building permits being issued.

Thirty single-family home building permits have been issued as of July 31 this year, compared to 15 permits issued during the same time last year. In 2007, the county issued 232 single-family building permits.

“We are seeing some pretty good activity,” said Scott Penson, chief building inspector for Grand County.

Data obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that in June 2011 there were a total of 5,894 building permits for privately owned housing units authorized in the state of Colorado, compared to 10,194 permits authorized by June of this year.

This shows a 73 percent increase in building permits issued for family housing in the state of Colorado from last year.

The Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting released its economic and fiscal review of Colorado on June 20.

The report states “The foundation of Colorado’s economy has grown stronger, with improvements in the long-struggling housing market, continued growth in jobs, increased energy production, export growth, and reduced household debt loads.”

The report goes on to say: “Colorado’s housing sector is performing better than many states, particularly with regard to home prices, foreclosures, and excess inventory. This is likely due to a relatively better performing economy and higher population growth.”

So while Grand County may have seen a slight rise in the number of reported foreclosures for the first quarter of 2012, the economic condition of the state of Colorado as a whole should be improving.

This is due to Colorado’s ability to adapt to the increasingly dynamic, information-driven, and technology intensive economy, according to the report.

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