Source: Jon Murray at The Denver Post
The Denver Green Roof Initiative passed on November 7th by 54.3% of voters, and became effective on Jan. 1st. Here’s a breakdown of what this means:
Reduce Denver’s urban heat island effect from heat radiating issues. This happens when human activity causes urban or metro areas to become significantly warmer than surrounding rural areas.
Rooftop gardens on all buildings with at least 25,000 square feet and residential buildings over 4 stories. Depending on building size, 20-60% of available roof space have to have green-roof coverage (industrial buildings only have to have 10%). –
- Cost for developers.
- Fees that will be charged for buildings that get variances.
- Watering requirements in Denver’s already dry climate.
- The major structural alterations that will be required to replace roofs on buildings that weren’t built for green roofs.
* This replacement clause is one of the biggest reasons that this initiative faces so much opposition and it makes Denver’s green-roof initiative the strictest in the nation. Toronto and San Francisco are considered “green-roof pioneers” but they do not require existing buildings to replace their roofs, only new ones.
So what’s next?
The city is implementing the initiative but changes are to be expected. In May, the city will re-evaluate what changes need to be made and as of right now, the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment is putting together a task force to review the initiative.
Source: National Association of Realtors
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was finalized on December 20, 2017 and went into effect after December 31, 2017. So what does this mean for you, as a current or potential homeowner? We give a breakdown on important numbers for current and potential homeowners here:
- $750k = limit on mortgage interest deduction (for mortgages issued after Dec. 15th, 2017)
- $10k = state and local deduction for income, sales, & property taxes
- $12k = standard deduction for single filers
- $24k = standard deduction for married filing jointly
- $0.00 = personal exemptions
- 2 out of 5 years = how long you have to live in a primary residence to qualify for capital gains exclusion
- 15% = max rate on capital gains (generally speaking)
Source: Kelcey McClung at the Denver Business Journal
Affordable housing options in Denver are scarce but there is a group that is doing something about it! A group of 8 funders have partnered to invest around $25 million to create over 700 affordable homes for low-income housing in the Denver area, within the next five years. Not only are they providing housing, the trust is also going to assist families in accessing early childhood education, workforce training and placement, healthcare, and wealth-building opportunities. This won’t completely solve the affordable housing problem but this is an AWESOME start!
Source: Caitlin Hendee at the Denver Business Journal
Real estate development is seeing a parking lot and turning it into a district, which is exactly what The Rockies are doing. The west parking lot at 19th and Wazee will be transformed into what will be known as “the Stadium District,” an impressive and dynamic mixed-used development that will connect LoDo to Union Station and RiNo. This block will have an outdoor plaza, the Rockies Hall of Fame facility, a hotel, retail, entertainment, residential, offices, and food and beverage spaces.
Source: Samantha Sharf at Forbes
Trump’s Tax Cuts & Jobs Act was released at the beginning of November (follow the live coverage about it on The Wall Street Journal’s website). Three major components of this Reform that are relevant to buyers, sellers, and investors are:
- the mortgage interest deduction will go from $1million to $500k,
- a new cap on property taxes, and
- capital gains limitations.
These all become more concerning as the median home price is approaching $500k in Denver.
Source: Kurt Sevits at Denver 7
Inventory is still low but we actually have some different kind of news to report to you: the Denver real estate market is slowing down just a little bit. In September, the number of homes that sold had a noticeable decrease. Typically sales are down 10% from August to September, but last month it was down 21%! Showings are slowing down as well. Denver isn’t known for following seasonal trends (#snowinoctober), but we may be getting a glimpse of an true seasonal slowdown in the real estate market.
New Denver Affordable Housing Plan Faces Questions about How City Will Help Residents Being Pushed out
Source: Jon Murray at The Denver Post
Denver released Housing an Inclusive Denver, a 98 page draft plan that goes over how the city will bring opportunity to vulnerable neighborhoods. Rightly so, residents are questioning if this plan will help them actually stay in their home or if it will displace them somewhere else. In neighborhoods where generational and cultural roots run deep, we understand their concern. What are your thoughts?
Source: Ben Miller at Denver Business Journal
99.5% of Denver homes are worth more than they were at the peak of the housing bubble in the mid-2000s. This is impressive, given that nationally only 48% of homes are worth more than they were at the peak. Just how much have Denver homes increased in value? A whopping 60% on average. What’s crazier: experts don’t see this reversing anytime soon.
Source: Michael Konopasek at Fox31 Denver
In November, Denver will vote on whether or not new large buildings (25,000 sq ft or larger) should be required to install rooftop gardens, solar panels, or both. The purpose: to combat what is known as the “urban heat island” effect — when metro areas are significantly warmer than surrounding areas because of human activities. Our thoughts? Sounds like a great deal but the end users have to be willing to pick up the tab unless there is an incentive package. This will be another layer of expense for new housing when Denver is already in need of more affordable options.