Local foreclosure rate exceeds national level

James Fenton and Hannah Grover, Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Despite a recent decrease in the number of properties in foreclosure proceedings in the city, Farmington's foreclosure rate is higher than the national average, according to a national report released last week.

A local real estate agent says Farmington's high rate of foreclosures could mean bad news for homeowners trying to sell their property.

A national foreclosure report issued Thursday by the Irvine, Calif.-based property research company CoreLogic Inc. shows that the rate of foreclosure in Farmington dropped by 0.16 percentage points from last year. By May, the local foreclosure rate inched down to 1.70 percent from a rate of 1.86 percent 12 months earlier.

Despite the decrease, foreclosure activity in Farmington was higher than the national foreclosure rate, which held at 1 percent in May, a rate last recorded in October 2007, according to the report.

The high rate of foreclosures in Farmington is something that Rita Gomez, a real estate agent at Coldwell Banker Cornerstone Realty, has noticed. 

"It could be good for some people, maybe, but for the majority of the population, it's probably bad," she said.

Gomez attributes the high local foreclosure rate to a decline in oil and gas production that has lead to layoffs. While real estate agents do not use foreclosures while doing market analysis for people interested in selling their homes, Gomez said the foreclosures could affect housing values. She said if there are three houses on a block and one of them is a foreclosure that is selling for less than the other two houses, it will bring the housing value down for the other houses.

Gomez said the trend will likely continue until the area experiences an increase in employment. Even if the local job market improves, Gomez said it will take a while for the housing market to rebound.

In another sign of the shaky local economy, the study shows Farmington's mortgage delinquency rate has climbed to more than 4 percent.

According to CoreLogic's May 2016 data, 4.03 percent of mortgage loans were 90 days or more delinquent compared with 3.90 percent for the same period last year, an increase of 0.13 percentage points.

CoreLogic's report drew on data between May 2015 and January 2016, the most recent month of complete reported data available for properties in the U.S.

James Fenton is the business editor of The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4621.

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.