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Feb 25, 2013 8:26 PM by Andy Koen

Colorado homeowners paid off more mortgages in 2012

DENVER - Homeowners in Colorado either refinanced or paid off their mortgages last year faster than they have at any time in the previous three years. A report released Monday by the Colorado Division of Housing finds 86,816 deeds of trust were released between October 1 and December 31 last year.

That number is 49.1 percent higher than the same three month period in 2011 and helped to lift the number of loan payoffs by 29.4 percent (305,141 deeds) on the year.

Deeds of trust are typically released when a loan is paid off through refinance, the sale of a property, or because the owner has made the final payment on the loan.

Ryan McMaken, an economist with the Division of Housing explains that increases in release activity generally suggest a greater demand for home loans and real estate.

"The 30-year mortgage rate was at a record low average of 3.36 percent during 2012," McMaken said. "That has really helped push up refinance and purchase activity in Colorado."

Douglas, Summit and Boulder counties saw the most activity while Morgan, Teller and Alamosa counties experienced the least.

"In many cases, the counties with the most release activity are places with lower unemployment and higher incomes," McMaken explained. "It's easier to refinance in places like that, but release activity increased almost across the board in 2012, in even the lower-income counties."

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