A last lump of coal from December ’14: The year’s second-worst month for foreclosures

Jon Bell
Staff Reporter-Portland Business Journal
Jan 15, 2015


Although December is historically a month that sees fewer foreclosures than other months throughout the year, December 2014 was a bad one for Oregon homeowners unable to hold onto their homes.

According to Gorilla Capital, a Eugene real estate investment company that buys and sells homes, there were a total of 753 judicial and non-judicial foreclosures filed in December in the 24 counties that the company monitors. That’s the second highest total in 2014, according to Gorilla.

After a dip in November, judicial foreclosures climbed from 314 in November to 411 in December. Non-judicial foreclosures also increased from 206 in November to 342 in December.

Though there was an uptick in December, the entire year saw a sizable drop in foreclosures. For 2014, there were 7,075 foreclosures filed in Gorilla-watched counties compared to 13,446 in 2013.

“December’s filings reflect what we have believed for many months: that monthly foreclosure filings will continue to hover most months near the 600-plus mark, and maybe even increase during the first quarter of 2015,” said John Helmick, CEO of Gorilla Capital. “Oregon’s foreclosure process keeps many foreclosed homes at the front end of the filing process for months, and sometimes years, inadvertently creating vacant or zombie homes that drag down values in thriving neighborhoods.”

Additional data released this week from RMLS noted that the Portland metro region saw a 25 percent increase in closed sales in December compared to the same month last year. There were 5,146 active residential listings on the market and inventory fell to just over two months.

In addition, RMLS reported that, in all of its measures, 2014 was a better year than 2013. New listings were up 5 percent, pending sales were up 4.3 percent and closed sales increased 3.6 percent over 2013.

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