DENVER (CBS4) – A few years ago Denver’s Green Valley Ranch neighborhood was listed as having one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country. Things have changed dramatically since then.
The far Northeast Denver neighborhood has gone through some major infrastructure improvements, and in the past four years home sales have tripled.
Similar success stories are unfolding in many other Denver metro area neighborhoods. Home prices across the Denver region are at a five year high. CBS4 partner the Denver Business Journal reports home prices have been trending upward for nine straight months. In September home sales were up 6.7 percent when compared to sales in September 2011.
Commerce City, Arvada, Broomfield and Highlands Ranch are some of the other areas where the turnaround is being tangibly felt.
“Foreclosures are down considerably. We’re getting bidding wars on the homes in the resale market out here,” Oakwood Homes spokeswoman Alisa Poncher told CBS4’s Tom Mustin in Green Valley Ranch.
CBS4 interviewed Green Valley Ranch homeowners in 2008, when the Great Recession was in effect and the housing market was at rock bottom.
“There are six houses just right around me that are in foreclosure,” said one resident at the time.
Now there are new schools, parks and a bustling housing market.
So what spurred the change? Poncher says Green Valley exemplifies a growing confidence in Colorado.
“Consumer confidence is improving and unemployment numbers have gone down,” Poncher said. “We’re still seeing an influx of people from other states move here, and interest rates are at an all-time low.”
That’s great news for homeowners like Alex Lara. She and her husband bought a home in the neighborhood seven years ago. Two years later they received a disturbing letter from the bank.
“They basically told us we were under water $50,000,” Lara said.
Lara says she and her husband thought seriously about giving up their home, but they decided to stick it out for their children. Now they are glad they did.
“Now that the value is going up, we’re happy and we look forward to the next years,” she said.