Colorado real estate markets improving
June 25, 2013
Improvements in the local real estate market reflect state trends.
The Colorado Division of Housing said foreclosures dove 50 percent in May, while home loan payoffs surged.
At the same time, the Vail Board of Realtors May monthly indicators report shows a tightening local market. The number of new listings coming to market is down 13 percent from last year, and active inventory is down over 34 percent from last year.
"While this report provides great insight into Eagle County as a whole, each neighborhood has its own unique characteristics and trends which are best navigated through the use of a local Realtor," said Julie Retzlaff who chairs the Vail Board of Realtors.
The time that a local property spent on the market dropped 3 percent to 159 days, down from 185 days in 2011, the Vail Board of Realtors May report said.
Retzlaff said concerns about interest rates are popping up again, after Fed chief Ben Bernanke told Congress the Federal Reserve Bank is considering tapering the $85 billion it's spending each month to buy mortgage-backed securities and other debt.
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Payoffs are up
The number of home loans paid off in Colorado was up 31.4 percent from the first quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013, the Colorado Division of Housing reported.
Public trustees in Colorado released a total of 98,321 deeds of trust during the first quarter of 2013, the highest quarterly total recorded in any quarter since the Division began collecting quarterly totals in 2008. That's up from 74,809 deeds released during the first quarter of last year.
Eagle County saw the smallest increase of the 21 Colorado counties surveyed at 3.7 percent. Jefferson County showed the next smallest increase at 12.5 percent.
A release of a deed of trust occurs when a real estate loan is paid off, whether it be through refinance, sale of property or because the owner has made the final payment on the loan, McMaken said. Increases in release activity occur as refinance and home-sale activity increases, and rising release totals typically indicate increases in the demand for home loans and real estate.
"From early 2011 to late 2012, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell for seven quarters in a row," McMaken said. "We're not surprised to see refinancing and purchase activity increase sharply as a result."
Foreclosures are down
In Colorado's metro counties, foreclosure filings were down 50.5 percent during May 2013, falling to the lowest level recorded during May in any year since the Division of Housing began collecting monthly totals in 2007.
Foreclosure auction sales in metro areas were down 25.4 percent in May this year compared to May of last year, falling from 965 to 720. During the same period, foreclosure filings dropped from 2,249 to 1,113.
For the first five months of the year combined, from January through May, foreclosure filings were down 43.4 percent in 2013 when compared to the same period last year. Foreclosure auction sales were down 29.4 percent across the same period.
"And a downward trend is likely to continue as long as employment is stable and we continue to see low mortgage rates," said Ryan McMaken, an economist for the Colorado Division of Housing.
Foreclosure filings are the initial filing that begins the foreclosure process, and foreclosure auction sales totals are the total number of foreclosures that have been sold at auction, ending the foreclosure process.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935, and firstname.lastname@example.org