New foreclosures in Dane County were still outnumbering home starts at the end of last year, but not by as much.

For the 12 months ending in December 2012, there were 1.69 foreclosure filings for every housing start, according to an analysis of court records and building permits by Madison-based Keller Williams agent Dan Miller.

That’s down — significantly — from 2.32 foreclosures for every home start for the 12-month period ending December 2011.

“Foreclosures have been a big source of competition for new construction,” Miller said. “However, foreclosures have been decreasing in recent months, and housing starts have been increasing, as the market continue to show signs of improvement in many different areas.”

During the 12-month period ending December 2012, there were 777 housing starts in Dane County, compared to 591 during the previous 12 months, for a 31.5 percent increase.

Meanwhile, there were 1,315 foreclosure filings in Dane County for the 12 months ending in December, compared with 1,374 during the previous 12-month period, for a 4.3 percent drop.

Miller expected this trend to continue into this year, with foreclosures still falling and housing starts gaining more strength, as the housing market slowly rebuilds itself amid generally positive economic trends, though job creation still could be much stronger.

“All signs point to a very significant improvement in 2013,” Miller said. “I believe the ratio will move to below 1 by the end of this year.”

Looking further back, it’s clear that housing starts and foreclosure volume have flip-flopped over the past decade, Miller said.

In 2000, there were 1,957 Dane County housing starts and only 306 foreclosure. By 2011, there were only 591 starts compared to 1,374 foreclosures, though that ratio improved in 2012, as noted above, as the gap between foreclosures and housing starts began to diminish.

(Housing starts for Dane County and much of the rest of the state are tracked by MTD Marketing Services of Menasha. You can see my latest local housing start post using MTD data, for December and 2012 overall, here.)










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  • Police/metro reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal

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