Routt County foreclosures continue to drop

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— The number of foreclosures in Routt County continued to drop throughout 2013, with the total for the year expected to be about 140 or fewer, according to county Treasurer/Public Trustee Brita Horn.

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There were 137 foreclosures filed to date in 2013 in Routt County, far lower than the 228 filed in all of 2012 and 310 filed in 2011.

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To date, 137 notices of election and demand, or NEDs, have been filed, compared to 228 total for 2012 and 310 in 2011.

The projection for 2013 after the first quarter was more than 150 NEDs, but the remainder of the year saw consistently lower monthly totals.

“We have seen a slowdown,” Horn said about NED filings, adding that the foreclosures that do get sold have remained popular with investors.

“Every Wednesday at 10 a.m., we have bidding wars,” she said.

Horn said she’s seen a number of filings that have been withdrawn or cured quickly.

However, overall, fewer NEDs are being withdrawn in 2013 when compared to the two previous years. Thirty-five percent of the NEDs filed this year have been withdrawn. That figure was more than 47 percent in 2012 and almost 43 percent in 2011.

“I would think very few of the short sales and foreclosures are strategic now,” said Colorado Group Realty broker/owner Jon Wade.

Wade said that the people who are being foreclosed on now likely were individuals who persevered and really tried to stay in their homes but “unfortunately some of them have run out of gas.”

The properties now going through the foreclosure or short sale process are on average in much better condition than previous years, Wade said, because owners who’ve been able to hold on this long have taken care of their homes.

While demand for foreclosures remains steady and short sales in certain segments and price points are doing well, Wade said, their effect on the regular market is waning.

“It passed the point earlier this year where it's driving prices,” he said. “It’s just not a factor any more.”

Foreclosures still are higher than the base level of a completely healthy market, Wade said, but it’s easier for appraisers to ignore comparable sales that were bank owned or short sales when they’re isolated events.

On the alternate side, with prospects for Routt County’s housing market improving, there’s more incentive for people who are on the bubble to seek out help.

“It’s also to the point if you do have someone that can help you, it makes sense for them to help you,” Wade said. “Now you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206, email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @MLSchrantz

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