Sheriff Auctions and Foreclosures Rise in Missouri and Kansas

by on States

The volume of foreclosure homes at sheriff auctions and households that received filings increased in Missouri and Kansas in February 2011 compared with year-ago levels. The regions posted increases while the whole country's foreclosure numbers dipped during the same period. However, local analysts are optimistic that the rest of the year will be much better for both regions.

Filings for foreclosures in Kansas City metro region increased by 21% in February 2011 compared with February 2010, which also went against the national trend. The whole state of Kansas recorded a total of 1,039 filings for the month, accounting for 0.08% of total housing units in the state. The figure also represented an increase of 30% compared with year-ago levels. The total included first-time filings, properties up for an auction sale and repossessed homes. The same upward trend was seen in Missouri over the same period.

Foreclosed homes in Missouri totaled 3,337 in February 2011, which means that 0.12% of total housing units in the region were under some form of foreclosure during the month. The total also meant that foreclosure numbers in Missouri jumped by 10% when compared with February 2010. Despite increases in both states' foreclosed property numbers, local analysts believe that the latter part of 2011 will be a better time for the areas. They also stated that the expected improvement in the second half will be more lasting than previous changes.

The increase in the number of foreclosure filings and sheriff auctions in Kansas and Missouri was notable because it contradicted the nationwide foreclosure trend. Foreclosures in the whole U.S. dipped by a huge 27% in February compared with one year ago. The total number of filings posted nationwide was the lowest recorded in the past three years.

Housing market analysts, however, warned that the decrease in bank foreclosures does not mean that the worst is over for the housing industry. They explained that the decline has a lot to do with the robo-signing controversy in the last quarter of 2010, which put into question the validity of lenders' foreclosure procedures. Allegations of using faulty paperwork have forced lenders to re-file actions and review their processes, which hindered their abilities to process foreclosure cases at a quicker pace.

Analysts also stated that foreclosed properties at sheriff auctions will rise again, most likely after a couple of months, once lenders have addressed documentation problems. Most of them also stated that 2011 will be the period when foreclosure numbers will hit their highest levels; a sign that the foreclosure issue has peaked and hopefully will start winding down soon after.