Colorado Springs-area foreclosure picture continues to improve

By Rich Laden Published: December 23, 2013 | 4:40 pm 0

The Colorado Springs-area foreclosure rate has fallen by more than half since the beginning of 2011, another sign of improvement in the local housing market and the plight of distressed property owners.

The foreclosure rate - the percentage of residential and commercial properties in some stage of foreclosure - declined to 0.71 percent in October, according to a report Monday by CoreLogic, a California-based housing data firm.

The rate was 0.80 percent in September; a little more than 1 percent at the start of 2013; and had been as high as 1.86 percent in January 2011, CoreLogic's report shows.

Colorado Springs' foreclosure rate for October wasn't as good as the state's rate of 0.62 percent, but was far better than the national rate of 2.15 percent

At the same time, 2.72 percent of Springs-area property owners were 90 days or more delinquent on their mortgage payments in October, according to CoreLogic. That percentage was 2.74 percent in September and had been as high as 4.86 percent in early 2010.

By comparison, 2.24 percent of property owners in the state were delinquent by 90 days or more in October. Nationally, the figure was 5.11 percent.

The latest CoreLogic numbers mirror improvements being tracked locally by the El Paso County Public Trustee's Office and area real estate agents.

In November, the trustee's office recorded 100 foreclosure filings in El Paso County, the fewest for any month in more than 11 years.

Also, in November, nearly 13 percent of homes sold for the month were distressed properties - foreclosures and short sales. That figure was almost 37 percent in January 2009, according to multiple listing service data compiled by Rick Van Wieren of Re/Max Properties in the Springs.

Area real estate agents have credited improvements in the single-family housing market, historically low mortgage rates and gains in the economy as among the factors that have eased local foreclosure woes.

More affordable mortgage rates and consumers who feel more secure in their jobs have helped spur demand for housing. As a result, more homeowners can sell their property or refinance if they run into financial trouble.

Also, the pool of potential property owners who might fall into foreclosure - because of layoffs or because they bought homes using non-traditional mortgages - has dwindled over the last several years after having peaked around 2009.

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Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228

Twitter @richladen

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