The number of Colorado foreclosures winding up at auction sale fell 23.7% from 1,134 sales last year to 865 in July, the Colorado Division of Housing said. That's also the lowest auction sale total for the month of July in five years.

At the same time, foreclosure filings – the first stage in the foreclosure process – grew 14% to 1,976 in July, compared to 1,733 a year earlier.

"There were fewer than 900 auction sales during July, which is a long way from zero, but back in 2007 and 2008, we often saw more than 2,000 completed foreclosures in a single month," said Ryan McMaken, a spokesman with the Colorado Division of Housing. "New foreclosure filings are down quite a bit also but numbers have been flat so far this year."

Eleven of the 12 Colorado counties surveyed reported drops in foreclosure auction sales during the first seven months of 2012. The largest drops in completed foreclosures occurred in Boulder County, home to Boulder, and Denver County, with auction sales falling 41.1% and 37.9%, respectively.