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Spokane County postpones its first online tax-delinquent parcel auction

Spokane County will postpone its first online auction of tax-delinquent properties until March.

In an effort to help more people bid on the properties, the county announced the first online auction for Dec. 3-4.  The auction will be for about 100 properties for which taxes have gone unpaid for three or more years, said County Treasurer Rob Chase.

A press release noted the postponement is due to the county’s anticipated expenses related to the holidays and winter weather.

In three weeks, swoop down — online — on the county’s tax-delinquent properties


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Anyone out there want to buy the old YWCA building downtown, across from the Ridpath?

Circle Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 on your calendars. Those are Spokane County's first delinquent-tax property auction, done entirely online instead of at the courthouse.

Our earlier story (last week) disclosed all the key details. The county is using a Maryland firm, Bid4Assets.com, to manage and run the online bidding.

BIdders need to register with Bid4Assets and verify a valid credit card.

Among the offerings is the once-busy YWCA building at the northwest corner of Stevens and First (shown in the Google Streetview image).

Today, it's vacant and looking for a good owner.

The full list of the properties to be auctioned can be found online here.  Bidding price will start with the past-due taxes and fees, plus the $150 fee that the county must pay Bid4Assets. Anything above that reserve amount goes to the property owner.

County preparing to have an online auction of properties in foreclosure

About 100 parcels or buildings are scheduled to be auctioned off Dec. 3-4 in the first-ever Spokane County online auction.

The county sells off properties that have a three-year backlog of unpaid taxes, fees and interest.  But usually those have happened at live auctions at the Spokane County Courthouse.

The full story appeared earlier today on Spokesman.com.

Among the properties are five parcels that are part of or near the distressed Ridpath Hotel block.

Spokane foreclosed home sales, an infographic covering 2010 and 2011

CoreLogic, a company that puts out a branded real estate summary called RealtyTrac, just completed a summary of foreclosures for metros across the nation. Later we'll have more on that report and compare the differences between Spokane and North Idaho.

This chart provided via the CoreLogic website is a snapshot of sale prices for foreclosed homes in Spokane County over the last two full years, ending in December 2011. The extremely low prices in late December are skewed by the relative scarcity of home sales at that point.

Spokane County foreclosure rate inched up in June, compared with 2010

CoreLogic, a company that aggregates real estate data, said Spokane County's foreclosure rate inched up in June compared with 12 months ago.

Here are the general data, which are not pleasant. They show a clear steady increase in delinquencies. Though the increase is minimal month by month, the trend is disturbingly upward. (Click the map of Spokane County for a larger format version.)

The trend line for 90-day delinquencies and foreclosures in Spokane.

Spokane 90+ Day Delinquency Rate Foreclosure Rate
June 2011 4.58% 1.69%
May 2011 4.57% 1.67%
April 2011 4.56% 1.71%
June 2010 4.40% 1.27%
May  2010 4.39% 1.25%
April 2010 4.38% 1.20%

Source: CoreLogic: www.corelogic.com

READ below the jump for a key explanation of what CoreLogic is tracking in these data.

Spokane foreclosure, delinquencies rose in May, says CoreLogic

Foreclosures in Spokane County are a growth industry. A recent CoreLogic study found Spokane foreclosures increased in May compared to the same period last year.

CoreLogic's data show the rate of foreclosures among outstanding mortgage loans is 1.67 percent for the month of May 2011, an increase of 0.42 percentage points compared to May of 2010 when the rate was 1.25 percent.

Foreclosure activity in Spokane is less than the U.S. rate of 3.45 percent for May. That's a 1.78 percentage point difference in Spokane's favor.

Spokane has a mortgage delinquency rate of 4.56 percent. The term refers to mortgage loans 90 days or more delinquent.

A year ago in May 2010, the delinquency rate was 4.40 percent, showing a 0.16 percent hike year over year.  

The image shows the May 2011 CoreLogic map of foreclosures in Spokane County. Click image for slightly larger version; color key shows the varying foreclosure rates.

Foreclosures drop in Spokane

Foreclosures in Spokane County fell last month, but remained significantly above the pace of November 2009, according to figures released today by RealtyTrac.

The on-line foreclosure marketplace said 167 Spokane homes _ one in every 1,182 _ went into foreclosure, down 52 percent from 109 in October. But only 64 homes were foreclosed a year ago.

Slightly more than 4,000 homes were foreclosed in Washington, down 36 percent from October, but well above the 3,288 of November 2009. Washington ranked 17th among the 50 states in foreclosure rate.

In Kootenai County, 257 homes were foreclosed, or one in every 234. The total was an increase from the 188 in October and 180 of a year ago.

Foreclosures include homes subject to a notice of default, notices of a trustee or foreclosure sale, and those already foreclosed by the lender.

Statewide, 2,133 homes were foreclosed, or one in every 301. Idaho ranks eighth among the states.

Nationally, RealtyTrac said foreclosures fell 21 percent from October, and 14 percent from a year earlier. One in every 492 homes was foreclosed.  

Local foreclosure rates increase

Foreclosure rates increased in Spokane and Kootenai counties during the third quarter of 2010, but filings fell in September compared with 2009, according to a national real estate research company.

RealtyTrac said 727 Spokane properties received a notice of trustee sale, or were taken over by lenders in the quarter. For September, the number was 191.

In Kootenai County, 670 properties were subject to a notice of default or trustee sale, or went back to the lender during the quarter. The total for September was 243.

The Spokane third-quarter filings represented a 76 percent increase compared with the second quarter, and a near tripling of activity a year earlier. September was less active than August, but more than double September 2009.

Quarterly results in Kootenai County were only slightly worse than quarter- and year-prior periods, but monthly comparisons showed improvements. 

Idaho ranked fifth among all states in the rate of foreclosure filings, Washington was 14th.

Nationally, notices and sales were relatively flat for the quarter and month compared with the 2009 periods. More than 930,000 properties were in some stage of foreclosure during the third quarter, 347,420 of those in September.   

Spokane foreclosure rates inch upward in July

Foreclosure rates in Spokane increased in July over the same period last year, CoreLogic reports.

New data from the company show that the rate of foreclosures among outstanding mortgage loans in the Spokane area was 1.26 percent for July, up from a rate of 1.14 percent in July 2009.

Foreclosure activity in Spokane was lower than the national foreclosure rate of 3.13 percent for July.

Also in Spokane, the mortgage delinquency rate increased. According to CoreLogic data for July, 4.38 percent of mortgage loans were 90 days or more delinquent, compared to 3.2 percent for the same period last year.

Foreclosures decline, still double 2009

Fewer Spokane and Kootenai county homeowners received foreclosure notices last month compared with April, but the numbers remained double those of a year ago.

RealtyTrac today reported 136 Spokane and 216 Kootenai county homeowners were in foreclosure in May. In Kootenai County, one in every 279 owners was affected. The rate for Spokane County was one in every 1,451.

In May 2009, 88 Kootenai County homes and 687 Spokane County homes were in foreclosure.

The Kootenai County rate for May was higher than Idaho’s, which at one per every 309 homes was seventh highest in the United States. Washington, with a rate of one per 574 homes, was 20th-ranked.

The national rate was 1-per-400 homes, only slightly less than the rate for April and one percent below May 2009, according to RealtyTrac.

Local foreclosure rates increase

The March real estate foreclosure rate in Spokane County jumped 81 percent compared with February. The rate in Kootenai County also climbed.

According to RealtyTrac, 107 homes were foreclosed in Spokane last month, or one in every 1,844 homes. Only 59 homes were foreclosed in February, or one in every 3,344.

In Kootenai County, there were 216 foreclosures, up from 177 in February. The rate of one-per-279 homes was a 22 percent increase from the one-per-390 in February.

But the rate for Kootenai County was a 26 percent improvement on March 2009, while the Spokane rate was up almost 53 percent year-over-year.

Foreclosures increased 17 percent in Washington compared with March, but fell compared with March 2009.

The Idaho rate climbed 14 percent from February, and 29 percent from March 2009. 

How happy are we? Miserable

You may have heard of the Misery Index — a measure developed during the 1970s that essentially adds the unemployment rates to the inflation to come up with a larger picture of the economy.

Now there’s the Happiness Index, developed at Mainstreet.com. It’s a similar kind of thing — it takes a state’s non-mortgage debt, bankruptcies and unemployment rate and comes up with a measure of that state’s fiscal happiness.

The bad news: Washington and Idaho are scoring low on the Happiness Index, at Nos. 42 and 43, respectively.

Top of the list is Nebraska, followed by other Midwestern states. At the bottom was Oregon, though the indexers cautioned that the fortunes of any given state could change:

There are some interesting trends that can be gleaned from the Happiness Index. Not surprisingly, many of the states that experienced a boom during the housing bubble have more recently fallen by the wayside with increased foreclosures and debt.

Just as the U.S. economy evolves, so too will the MainStreet.com Happiness Index. Although Oregon currently falls at the bottom of our list, the state is well positioned for a boost in the future due to its potential for an influx of green jobs.

The opposite case can be made for Nebraska, which could fall from the top of the list with time. Its economy relies heavily on corn production, which is subsidized by the government to create corn ethanol - an alternative energy source. But the future of corn ethanol is uncertain.

Not so fast

When the national economy zigs, Spokane’s sometimes zags. Or at least lags — showing less intense highs and lows than elsewhere during the recent housing bubble and subsequent recession.

It’s been true with foreclosures and bankruptcies, which have been going up here, but not to the degree seen nationally. Now, though, as foreclosures are dipping nationally, they’re showing a jump in Spokane.

RealtyTrac, a national firm that tracks foreclosures, reports today that foreclosures are down 10 percent nationally from December to January. Here’s an article at SmartMoney that cautions us not to get too excited about that.

Month-to-month comparisons can … be misleading, says Andres Carbacho-Burgos, an economist at Moody’s Economy.com. Short-term fluctuations can be too volatile for long-term conclusions to be drawn. “A three-month moving average might tell you a bit more about the underlying trends in foreclosures,” Carbacho-Burgos explains. (Moody’s Economy.com uses quarterly statistics from the Mortgage Bankers Association in its housing reports.)

In fact, compared with January 2008, foreclosure activity in January was up 18%, making it the 37th consecutive month with year-over-year increases, according to RealtyTrac.