Front Range foreclosures jump 40 percent

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Colorado homeowners are feeling the pinch of the collapse of the subprime market – foreclosure filings jumped 40 percent in 2007.The Colorado Division of Housing reports that nearly 40,000 foreclosure filings were listed last year, up from 28,500 in 2006. Meanwhile, foreclosure sales – in which the property is sold to the lender or a third party – rose 45 percent during 2007, to 25,320.

The problem is most acute along the Front Range, where most mortgage loans originate, and where recent home construction has created a high inventory of newly built homes, said Kathi Williams, director of Colorado Division of Housing. High-demand markets like Durango and Vail aren’t suffering to the same extent, and foreclosures fell last year in nine counties that are experiencing an increase in oil shale development and mineral extraction activity, she said.

Statewide, there was one foreclosure for every 45 households, with the highest rates found in the Denver area, Weld County and Pueblo County, officials said.

But Colorado no longer has the highest foreclosure rate in the nation – a dubious distinction it held for most of 2006 – it’s been surpassed by Nevada, California and Florida.