Burden of Foreclosed Bargain Homes Eased in Colorado

The burden of foreclosed bargain homes is easing somewhat in some areas of Colorado as foreclosure numbers dipped in certain markets during the 2011 first quarter compared with year-ago levels. According to housing industry analysts, the foreclosure crisis is not yet over, but figures for the first three months of the current year showed that the crisis has lightened up a bit.

For the January-March 2011 quarter, Aurora foreclosure homes remain elevated, with one household for every 144 residential units in the Denver-Aurora region receiving at least a filing during the quarter. The metro area was ranked 43rd nationwide among all U.S. metropolitan markets in terms of highest number of foreclosures for the first quarter. Meanwhile, statewide foreclosures also dipped year-over-year, but the region has remained among the top ten foreclosure hotspots of the U.S.

The number of foreclosure homes in Colorado was enough to give the state the ninth ranking in terms of foreclosure rates nationwide among all 50 states. One household per every 157 residential units was under some foreclosure stage in Colorado during the 2011 first quarter. Although the state is still one of the regions suffering from the foreclosure crisis, several of its local markets have recorded foreclosure declines during the three-month period.

In Colorado Springs, for example, foreclosed bargain homes have dipped during the 2011 first quarter, with the foreclosure rate of the metro area pegged at one household for every 157 residential units during the period. The foreclosure rate of Colorado Springs, for the initial quarter of 201, declined by 16.7 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2010. Compared with the January-March 2010 quarter, the decline was 17.9%.

Meanwhile, several other local markets recorded decreases in the volume of bargain foreclosures during the current year's first quarter, although they were still ranked among the top 100 metro regions with the highest foreclosure rates. In Greeley, one household for every 97 residential units was under some stage of foreclosure during the quarter, ranking the metro 25th nationwide. Fort Collins-Loveland, on the other hand, had a foreclosure rate of one household for every 233 residences, making the region the 95th U.S. metro area with the highest foreclosure rate.

The number of foreclosed bargain homes and distressed residential properties is expected to rise again in the coming months. Analysts stated that the almost nationwide decline in foreclosure levels was just temporary and was the result of lenders struggling with backlogs. The housing market downturn is expected to persist for the rest of 2011.