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RealtyTrac: 125% jump in Colorado foreclosures

Highlights:

  • RealtyTrac releases U.S. foreclosure report for January.
  • Colorado shows a huge jump from December.
  • Last month would still be one of the lowest on record for foreclosures.
This 1,754-square-foot, 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom home in Green Valley Ranch is in foreclosure. The  starting bid for the home is $137,000.

This 1,754-square-foot, 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom home in Green Valley Ranch is in foreclosure. The starting bid for the home is $137,000.

Foreclosure starts in Colorado more than doubled in January from December, according to a national report released today.

The report by RealtyTrac, said that 1,291 foreclosures were started in January, a 124.9 percent jump from December.

Even if the numbers are correct, it doesn’t mean that the foreclosure crisis that gripped the state for a number of years before drawing to a close with the improving economy and housing market, is rearing its ugly head again.

“Of course, even if January’s filings total is double than of December, we’re still looking at a six or seven-year low for a January,” said Ryan McMaken, an economists for the Colorado Division of Housing, who does his own foreclosure analysis.

Nationwide, foreclosure starts were up almost 10 percent in January from December. On a year-over-year basis, Colorado foreclosures starts rose 11.4 percent in January, compared with an 11.6 percent drop nationally.

The number of foreclosure completions, or REOs (Real Estate Owned), when the lender takes back a property, fell by 65 percent in Colorado in January, compared to a 40 nationwide drop. The 323 REOs in Colorado last month equated to a 16 percent increase from December, while nationally REOs fell by 4.4 percent on a month-to-month basis.

All foreclosure activity, from the first filing notice to the REO, rose by 89.2 percent in January from December, while activity dropped 23.7 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Nationally, all foreclosure activity rose by 7.9 percent and fell by 17.5 percent, on a monthly basis and year-over-year, respectively.

“I’m seeing a similar trend from December to January, although it’s probably not as pronounced as Realtytrac’s stated increase of 89 percent,” McMaken said.

He added that, “January looks to be down again year over year, but several counties look to be up in January,” from December.

“Seasonally speaking, January’s average number of filings tends to be slightly below’s Decembers, although it’s impossible to say if this signals any sort of trend.”

Also, completed foreclosures tend to rise from December to January, McMaken said.

Across the country, RealtyTrac reported total foreclosure filings on 124,419 properties in December.

It showed that one out of every 1,058 households in the U.S. had a foreclosure filing in January. In Colorado, it was one out of every 1,370 households.

Nationwide, January marked the 40th consecutive month in which U.S. foreclosure activity declined on an annual basis, although the 17.5 percent drop was the lowest since September 2012 and the 8 percent monthly increase was the largest month-over-month increase since May 2012.

“The monthly increase in January foreclosure activity was somewhat expected after a holiday lull, but the sharp annual increases in some states shows that many states are not completely out of the woods when it comes to cleaning up the wreckage of the housing bust,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at  JRCHOOK@gmail.com. InsideRealEstateNews.com is sponsored by Universal Lending, Land Title Guarantee and 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal.