Foreclosures hit 6-year low in 2013

Clark County saw 2.1% improvement over 2012 figure

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter



Clark County Foreclosures

By Year

2013: 2,248

2012: 2,297

2011: 2,696

2010: 3,589

2009: 3,863

2008: 2,541

2007: 1,274

2006: 672

For December

2013: 121

2012: 345

2011: 196

2010: 297

2009: 377

2008: 291

2007: 156

Source: RealtyTrac Inc.

The total number of home foreclosures in 2013 in Clark County reached the lowest level since 2007, according to a report issued Thursday, which also showed that the value of distressed properties have improved across the nation.

Clark County's 2013 total of 2,248 foreclosures represented a slight, 2.1 percent improvement over 2012, when the annual total of homes in foreclosure reached 2,297. The report also showed county foreclosure numbers continued on a downward trend through the year. The data, supplied by California-based RealtyTrac, represents the number of houses tagged by foreclosure filings or default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions.

The local housing market saw steady improvement through the year, according to December data also released on Thursday. Last month, there were 121 local homes in some stage of foreclosure, a 65 percent decline from December 2012 and down 16.6 percent from November's total of 145 foreclosures.

Across the nation, the average estimated value of a property receiving a foreclosure filing in 2013 was $191,693, according to RealtyTrac, up 1 percent from the average value in 2012.

Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac, said the current push to foreclose "is certainly coming at an opportune time for the foreclosing lenders. There is unprecedented demand from institutional investors willing to pay with cash to buy at the foreclosure auction, helping to raise the value of properties with a foreclosure filing."

RealtyTrac reported 1.4 million U.S. properties in foreclosure in 2013, down 26 percent from 2012 and down 53 percent from the peak of 2.9 million properties with foreclosure filings in 2010. The 2013 total represented the lowest annual total since 2007, when there were 1.3 million properties with foreclosure filings.

In Clark County, one in every 74 homes was in some stage of foreclosure in 2013, a bit higher than Washington's average of one in every 84 homes. In Oregon, one in every 162 homes was in some stage of foreclosure in 2013. Washington had the 11th-highest foreclosure rate in the nation last year, while Oregon ranked 33rd.