Last year foreclosure filings dropped nearly 25 percent, and in December, some experts following real estate trends attributed last year’s double-digit drops in foreclosures to backlogged cases – and not because of the health of the real estate market. Though the High Country – Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties – has experienced nearly 250 foreclosure filings this year, the percentage of local foreclosure filings has actually dropped 17 percent during the same period last year – from January through June. This rate – 17 percent – is nearly double the state average, whereas foreclosure filings in all of North Carolina have dropped 9 percent, according to N.C.

Administrative Office of the Courts. So far this year, 130 properties have been filed for foreclosure in Watauga County for a four percent drop over last year; 62 filings in Avery County for a 23 percent drop; and 52 in Ashe County for 34 percent drop. Watauga County recovered from the foreclosure-filing high of 2010 sooner than Ashe and Avery counties. Whereas Watauga County noticed a significant 25 percent drop in 2010, Ashe and Avery counties are seeing that comparable drop this year. But in recent monthly press releases, the High Country Association of Realtors has been touting the market’s recover and great part of this year’s “boom” in particular “to buyers’ market conditions.” A release in July stated, “[The number of realtor-assisted] listings sold are up 31 percent compared to this time last year, and more than 42 percent compared to the first six months of 2010.”

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