As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, September 2007.
With deference to the city's altitude, the highest thing about Denver in recent years was its foreclosure rate.
In 2006, numerous foreclosure-monitoring services ranked Colorado's foreclosure rate first among all states, up from fifth. Although the rate has slipped to second in the past six months, foreclosures in the Denver area alone have increased 26 percent in that time, according to the Denver Post. The Rocky Mountain News also reported that 758 came from one section of southwest Denver in the past 18 months.
The reason? Pick one. Or 50. The fact is, between 2000 and 2005, growth in Denverites' housing costs far outpaced the growth of their paychecks. And then their rates reset. Or worse.
So the state took action. This past January, Colorado became the 49th state to license individual mortgage brokers (Alaska is the holdout). Gov. Bill Ritter fast-tracked additional stipulations effective this past July, with more kicking in this coming January. The state also created a foreclosure hot line, while Denver's Foreclosure Task Force even recommended creating a "foreclosure czar" position.
Instead of creating a rocky ground for brokers, Denver and its vicinity could in fact be primed for a true real estate rebirth. Development abounds at the former Stapleton International Airport -- closed in 1995 and recast as the city's largest neighborhood, expected to house some 30,000 residents as building continues. Just to the south, the former Fitzsimons Army Medical Center also is bringing new jobs to the city as site of a 579-acre health-sciences campus.
↑ Population: 566,974
Population in 2000: 554,636
Rank (U.S.): 26th largest
Metropolitan-area population: 2.3 million
Metropolitan-area rank (U.S.): 22nd largest
↓ Average commute: 23.2 minutes
Average commute in 2000: 24.5 minutes
U.S.: 25.1 minutes
↑ Median household income: $42,370
Median household income in 2000: $39,500
↑ Median age: 34.3 years
Median age in 2000: 33.1 years
U.S.: 36.4 years
↓ Unemployment: 3.4 percent
Unemployment in May 2006: 4.3 percent
U.S.: 4.5 percent
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