Cottage Grove foreclosure rate still high but trending downwardThe rate of home foreclosures in Cottage Grove is slowing, city officials have said, a positive sign in a local housing market that has been battered since 2007.
The rate of home foreclosures in Cottage Grove is slowing, city officials have said, a positive sign in a local housing market that has been battered since 2007.
From January through July — the latest figures available — the city had identified 95 new home foreclosures in 2012. That is down from a total of 111 through the same period in 2011; there were 239 sheriff’s sales of foreclosed homes in Cottage Grove last year, according to Washington County statistics. That is the highest figure in Washington County.
The decelerating pace of foreclosures, though, is a sign for optimism, code enforcement intern Emily Schmitz told the City Council during a presentation earlier this month.
“It’s a positive sign,” she said. “[Foreclosures] are decreasing in the community.”
Sheriff’s sales of residential properties in bank foreclosure began to spike in Cottage Grove in 2007 with the onset of the nation’s housing and economic crisis. County figures reported 164 sheriff’s sales that year; 214 in 2008; 208 in 2009; and a high of 245 in 2010.
Cottage Grove had a total of 198 similar sales from 2003 through 2006 combined, according to the statistics compiled by the county’s Department of Property Records and Taxpayer Services.
Community Development officials acted quickly after the wave of foreclosures hit the city, developing a database that allowed city inspectors and public safety officials to track foreclosed homes in an effort to limit problems like unkept lawns, burst pipes and vandalism that could hurt surrounding properties.
City officials say another positive housing gauge is the increasing turnover on the local housing market. Home sales are up more than 20 percent over 2011, with the average price of those sales up more than 7 percent.