Each year U.S. News & World Report analyzes the 125 most populous metro areas to find the best places to live. To make the top of the list, a city has to have great value, be a desirable place to live, have a strong job market and a high quality of life.
For the last 6 years Denver has been ranked either #1, 2,
or 3 "best city to live in the U.S." That is a pretty
amazing track record.
Here are the top 10:
1. Austin, Texas.
2. Denver, Colorado
3. Colorado Springs, Colorado
4. Fayetteville, Arkansas
5. Des Moines, Iowa
6. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
7. San Francisco, California
8. Portland, Oregon
9. Seattle, Washington
10. Raleigh & Durham, North Carolina
Founded in the mid-1800s as a mining hub during the gold rush, Denver has come a long way since its Wild West days. Over time, its residents have evolved from gunslinging gamblers into an easygoing crowd of ambitious, progressive-minded fitness fanatics and nature lovers. Nicknamed the Mile High City for its 5,280-foot elevation, Denver's location at the base of the Rocky Mountains provides a gateway to a slew of outdoor pursuits, although it is probably best known for its devout ski and snowboard enthusiasts.
To clarify a common misconception, Denver is not a mountain town. It actually takes at least an hour to drive to the Rockies. But there are some great places for recreating within a 30-minute drive of downtown, such as Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater and Cherry Creek State Park.
Some might say that Denver is experiencing a gold rush of a different color: green. After Colorado residents voted to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012, Denver has seen a surge in cannabis-related commerce, from dispensaries to magazines to high-tech paraphernalia like vaporizers, rolling papers, lotions and storage containers – and the industry is just gaining speed. It is a great city for entrepreneurs of all kinds.
What is there to do in Denver, CO?
Denver offers more than 5,000 acres of parks, trails, golf courses and playgrounds. In fact, many of Denver's most prominent neighborhoods are built around and named after such beloved green spaces like Washington Park, City Park, Cheesman Park and Sloan's Lake. The metro area's proximity to the Rocky Mountains also creates numerous opportunities for residents to ski and snowboard in the winter.
Denver is also home to a flourishing arts scene, and music is a big part of life here. Numerous famous acts originated here at high altitude, including The Fray, The Lumineers, Gregory Alan Isakov, and Big Head Todd and the Monsters.
There are also nearly 100 breweries in metro Denver, and the sudsy area is host to the annual Great American Beer Festival that showcases more than 3,800 beers from 800 breweries around the country.
Kelcey McClung wrote about January 2019 home sales in the Denver Business Journal. She provides evidence that real estate market trends point to a more balanced market resulting in more choices for home buyers in the Denver Metro Area. She also writes that the luxury home market saw a dramatic decrease in the median days on the market.
Denver's January housing market marks 'best time to buy in a long time.'
The total of 5,881 listings was up 5.45 percent from the previous month, but still far below January’s historic average of 13,469.
Jill Schafer, chair of the DMAR market trends committee, said in a press release that buyers should be doing a “happy dance” because they finally have choices.
“Even though the Denver metro area is still a seller’s market in most price ranges, there’s no doubt this is the best time to buy in a long time,” she said.
Homebuyers were putting in more contracts in January than December – up 33.97 percent, which means the metro can expect more home sales in February, according to Schafer.
While inventory is up, prices are still up too, as the average sold price of a home in January was 2.89 percent higher than the average in January 2018, at $461,101.
The metro is continuing to move toward a more balanced market, Schafer said, as single-family homes priced under $1 million are still in short supply, and lower price ranges have less than five months worth of inventory. A market is generally considered balanced when it has five to six months worth of inventory.
The luxury home market is officially a buyer’s market, according to DMAR, as there is currently 7.65 months worth of inventory. January was much slower month for properties priced over $1 million as 93 were sold, compared to 135 in December.
The median days on the market for luxury homes dramatically dropped to 41 in January, which is less than half of the median days seen in January 2018. From 2016 to 2018, days on the market for luxury homes has ranged from 71 to 84 days.
Andrew Abrams, a DMAR market trends committee member, said he does not expect this trend to continue, but it does show that “buyers were quick to make decisions in January.”
“The luxury market was full of conflicting data,” he said. “The average sales price was up, median days on the market down and the overall sold properties and sales volume were down as well.” -Kelcey McClung - Denver Business Journal
Wall Street Journal has an article entitled "Where You Should Move to Make the Most Money: America’s Superstar Cities." Coming in high at number 4 is Boulder Colorado. “Technology is creating an economy in which superstar employees work for superstar firms that gather them into superstar cities, leading to a stark geographic concentration of wealth." The article cites a study by the Brookings Institution that created an index of every metro area in the U.S. according to the extent to which their workers use computers in their jobs (their digitalization).
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.
California-Lexington Park, Md.
Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C.
Washington D.C.-Arlington-Alexandria, Va.-Md.-W.Va.
The U.S.Census Bureau saysColoradogrew by nearly 80,000 people between mid-2017 and mid-2018.
The Denver Post reported Monday that Colorado's population grew by 1.4 percent in the 12 months ended July 1.
The Census Bureau says that's the seventh-fastest growth rate in the country. Nevada and Idaho were tied for first with a 2.1 percent growth rate.
The U.S. population grew by 0.6 percent during the period.
Colorado's population is now estimated at nearly 5.7 million, about 700,000 higher than in 2010. Colorado's growth rate was 13.2 percent in those eight years, the fourth-highest in the nation.
Some people still ask why Colorado is so popular? Here are just a few reasons: Over 300 days of sun, the 4th best winter (meaning least miserable) in the U.S., ski resorts galore, a booming economy, easy business laws for entrepreneurs, diverse work industry, hot real estate market, gorgeous mountain views, tons of outdoor activities, very family friendly, the coolest suburb communities...and the coolest people.
Here's Your Market Pulse from Denver Metro Association of Realtors
While the headlines are correct saying the market is slowing and housing is softening.. I have a better headline, one that in the context of the DMAR Market Trends Data released December 5th is still correct. That headline is WIN-WIN. This is a great market, in fact a winning market for both sellers and buyers.
Sellers have been blessed with strong appreciation since 2012. Some years double digit appreciation. So if you are considering selling that home and moving into the home of your dreams or cashing out and optimizing your equity, now is the time. We are starting to see a seasonal slowdown, a move towards a balanced market.
So as the market shifts (month over month median home prices slowed slightly by 1.25%, average home prices down by 1.64%) now is a great time to sell and take advantage of the equity in your home. Year to date 2018 we have gained 8.68% on average; this is incredible wealth gain for any investment.
Sellers: there are still buyers out there! In fact, last month 3,964 homes went under contract compared to 3,909 new homes listed.
Buyers: As a perspective, the current Freddie Mac average rate is 4.81. One year ago, it was .91% lower. That change in rates costs an average borrower 11% more every month in their monthly payment. Freddie Mac is estimating rates will go up to 5.5% next year. This in turn will cost a borrower 8% more every month.With future appreciation opportunities at today’s interest rates and prices, buyers have the opportunity to gain incredible wealth.
This is not the time to sit on the sidelines; but jump in as buyer, seller, or both as we edge into a balanced market.
Nov. 16–Dec. 23, 2018 WHERE: Skyline Park
The Christkindl Market includes vendors from Germany and
other countries, as well as local artisans, offering high-quality,
handcrafted gifts such as traditional hand-carved wooden figurines,
handmade candles and ornaments. Traditional German food will tempt your
taste buds. Sip on warm Glühwein (hot spiced wine) as you listen to
traditional Christmas carols and live German music. Entry is free and the
entire family is invited to enjoy this great tradition!
20, 2018–Feb. 3, 2019 WHERE: Corner of 16th and Arapahoe
Take a spin on the ice — for free! Grab your family and friends and head to
16th and Arapahoe in downtown Denver to the Downtown Denver Rink at
Skyline Park in Downtown Denver! Skate rentals are $6-$8, or
bring your own pair and skate for free. Free days for kids will take
place throughout the season. Look for regularly scheduled entertainment and
activities each week, including: Friday night DJs; Saturday morning skating
lessons; Saturday night concerts; and Sunday afternoon family
Nov. 23–Dec. 23, 2018
WHERE: Chatfield Farms Botanic Gardens
Explore Chatfield Farms as it is transformed into a magical village. Santa's
Village is a family-friendly holiday event
including hayrides, holiday gifts, Santa’s Workshop and so much more.
Dec. 7–9, 14–24 and 26–31, 2018 WHERE: Hudson Gardens & Events Center
Bundle up for a visit with Santa at Hudson Gardens in
Littleton. After sharing your list with Ol' Saint Nick, sip hot
chocolate as you stroll the outdoor paths lined with trees decked with
more than a million twinkling lights.
Nov. 23, 2018–Jan. 1, 2019 (includes Dec. 24, 25 and 31)
WHERE: Denver Botanic Gardens
Embrace the holidays with thousands of colorful lights draped in elegant
designs at Blossoms of Light. The 2018 event will be
brighter and bigger than ever before, with sound-reactive LED lights and
carolers on select evenings. Warm drinks and tasty treats and seasonal
entertainment will be available, and thousands of lights in the gardens'
amphitheater are synchronized to your favorite holiday tunes.
Nov. 23, 2018–Jan. 6, 2019
WHERE: Denver International Airport
Got a flight to catch? Head to Denver International Airport a
little early and enjoy a free spin around the airport's ice skating rink!
Nov. 30, 2018–Jan. 6, 2019
WHERE: Denver Zoo Zoo Lights will span 70 acres of Denver Zoo's
campus with nightly entertainment, animal encounters, Santa
meet-and-greets and, of course, illuminated animal sculptures that swing
through trees, jump across lawns, hide in bushes and appear in places where
they’re least expected.
Dec. 15, 2018 WHERE: City Park
Scramble along with Ebenezer Scrooge at this professionally timed race, which
benefits Denver Children's Home. There's even a Scrooge costume contest to
crown the best worst humbug of them all.
Did you know that
the Denver Christkindl Market has been going strong for 14
years? It is definitely a staple tradition that should not be
missed. I always feature it on my seasonal magnet mailer that goes
out to past (and future!) clients.
Fun Fact: German Christmas
markets date back to the 14th century. Originally, the fairs provided only
food and practical supplies for the cold winter season, but soon the
markets became a beloved holiday tradition and a great way to get into the
If you're a Colorado
resident and don't currently get my magnets, shoot me a quick
email with your address and I will put you on the list!
Denver, and other Amazon HQ2 rejects, could see even higher home value growth in the next year, experts says
Denver didn't get Amazon's HQ2, but what it may end up getting is higher-than-normal home value growth.
In the next year, a handful of metro areas that competed for Amazon's second headquarters are expected to outperform the national rate of home value appreciation, according to 2018 Q4 Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey.
Denver, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Dallas were named as the four markets most likely to see this, according to the survey. All four were among the 20 finalists for the Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) HQ2.
"The quarterly survey, sponsored by Zillow and conducted by Pulsenomics LLC, asked more than 100 real estate economists and investment experts for their predictions about the U.S. housing market, including which three markets they believe are most likely to outperform the U.S., and which three are most likely to underperform in 2019," a release from Zillow Tuesday said.
Denver got the second-most votes for over performance in the survey, second only to Washington, D.C., a winner of HQ2. In addition, VEROS Real Estate Solutions is predicting that metro Denver home prices will rise by 9.5% from Fall to September 2019.
Nationwide, home values have increased 7.7 percent through the first ten months of 2018, while Denver has only seen a 6.2 percent increase, according to Zillow. Boston, a finalist for HQ2 and Washington, D.C., also lagged behind the national average rate so far this year, according to Zillow.
"Many of the candidate cities that were not ultimately selected could see spillover gains in 2019," said Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas.
Commercial development opportunities that had been proposed as sites for Denver's bid to get Amazon's HQ2 also remain on the market in many of Denver's suburbs such as Sterling Ranch, Commerce City, Lone Tree, Thornton and Louisville.
Temps are about to drop again on Sunday. I ran across this winter prep list that might be helpful. I always try to equip my buyers with inside tips and tricks not only for the home buying process, but also for those first years as homeowners. Home upkeep can bring some hard (and expensive!) lessons, so being prepared and educated is always a good thing. This list is a good start, but I see a few things missing...... for example, running out the gas in your lawnmower. Any others that you guys think this list missed? Any (God forbid) horror stories!?? Happy Winterizing!
Sometimes change seems to happen all around you, but not to you. Such is the case in Denver’s East Colfax neighborhood, whose immediate neighbors—Lowry and Stapleton—have both recently received residential and commercial makeovers. Soon, though, the 684-acre enclave of East Colfax (the local neighborhood association embraced the name, instead of East Montclair, this past August) is poised for a transformation.
Last fall, the city of Denver purchased the defunct PT’s strip club at East Colfax Avenue and Valentia Street with hopes of turning it into a community gathering spot or an affordable housing development. And in November, Denverites approved a general obligation bond allotting $55 million for the East Colfax Bus Rapid Transit project, which will run along East Colfax Avenue between the Auraria Campus and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. But the neighborhood already boasts a bevy of gems, including diverse eateries, inviting coffeeshops, and an attraction that no amount of development can alter: unique Colorado history.
During the past 20 years, East Colfax has become home to refugees from East African and Southeast Asian countries such as Somalia, Bhutan, and Myanmar. So in addition to long-standing Latin American restaurants like Tacos Acapulco (try the pupusas) and 7 Leguas Mexican Grill (get the tacos al pastor), flavor seekers can also enjoy authentic Ethiopian-style lentils and injera (flatbread) at Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant and Bar and pick up specialty groceries like jasmine tea and Thai durian crackers at Family Asia Market. For a caffeine fix, there’s Pablo’s Coffee.
East Colfax might not have a big, shiny community hangout like Stapleton’s Stanley Marketplace (yet), but it does offer a distinct community vibe all its own. The best place to find it? Quince Essential Coffee House, where java junkies can pair beans from Kaladi Coffee Roasters (Denver) and Jubilee Roasting Co. (Aurora) with board games and open mic nights. For more structured socializing, head next door to the Sprightly Escapes escape room: Your team of friends or colleagues will work together to break out of an old motel (fitting) or save the dinosaurs from extinction.
Between the decommissioned Air Force base in Lowry and the string of neon-signed hotels along the neighborhood’s main drag, East Colfax offers a one-of-a-kind glimpse into east Denver’s past and present. For a complete picture, consider a bike tour of the area, starting with the neighborhood’s northern border on Montview Boulevard. Head south on Ulster Street where, from the 1920s to the 1950s, the houses at 1740 and 1760 served as part of the Greeters of America Home—a guesthouse and gathering place for members of the hospitality industry. Continue south toward East Colfax Avenue along either Valentia or Trenton streets—welcoming residential roads dotted with classic Denver bungalows—and reward yourself with a cheap beer at the Hangar Bar. Opened by two Denver women in 1938, this time-honored dive was a popular hangout for Lowry pilots and military personnel during WWII.
According to HousingWire, recent research suggests that some of America’s most popular cities, including our own Denver, CO, are fully prepared to tackle long-term socio-economic and commercial real estate momentum, states Jones Lang LaSalle, the popular financial and professional services firm. JLL is the creator of the City Momentum Index, which covers 131 global major established and emerging markets and tracks factors that determine which cities have the strongest short-term socio-economic and commercial real estate momentum, and those that are more equipped for long-term success.
Short-term momentum is determined by both socio-economic and commercial real estate momentum. Economic output, population, investment transactions, transparency, construction, consumerism are factors in JLL's analysis.
According to JLL, future-proofed cities have higher education infrastructures, innovation capability, better environment quality, more technology firms and international patent applications.
The firm's analysis ranked the top 30 most future-proofed markets in the world, as well as those with short-term momentum. While Seattle was the only American city to appear on the short-term list, 12 American cities were among the top 30 most future-proofed markets globally.
San Francisco topped the list as the no. 1 city in the world to have the most sustainable long-term market with nearby Silicon Valley ranking second. Other major U.S. cities claiming spots on the list include New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, Seattle, Austin, Denver(#10 in U.S. and #20 in the world), Washington D.C. and Philadelphia made an appearance on the list, which you can check out below: