economy

Foreclosure filings down for county, state

Jeffco sees 51 percent decrease in new foreclosures

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Jefferson County finished last year with a 51 percent decrease in new foreclosure fillings, according to a report by the Office of the Jefferson County Public Trustee.

The decrease is significant since the 2009 spike which ended the year with 4,027 foreclosures. The county began their statistical record in 1999 but 2009 could have been the largest foreclosure intakes the county has seen said Margaret Chapman, Jeffco public trustee.

“We got rid of these really ill-considered loans written in 2005 when you didn’t have to show income,” Chapman said. “It’s very significant because it shows the economy is recovering, the housing market is recovering.”

The state saw a 54 percent drop in foreclosure activity since 2012, with a foreclosure rate of 1 in every 2,577 housing units, according to a report released by RealtyTrac. Of the top five counties with the highest foreclosure rates — such as Teller and Montrose counties — Jeffco is not listed among them.

“I knew it was going to drop, just not that fast,” Chapman said.

Improved loan qualifications have added to the recovery of the housing market, along with shorter sales times, but as far as county reductions, Jeffco has always stood out from the rest because it never saw foreclosures as high as neighboring counties such as Arapahoe which peaked at 6,243 in the year 2009.

Another contributing factor to Jeffco’s lower foreclosure rates could be a land-use factor with 232,108 acres of land in the county dedicated to recreation and conservation out of 494,660 total acres, according to Jeffco Open Space figures.

“We just don’t have a lot of room to build, there just isn’t space,” Chapman said.

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