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The 411 on Denver real estate.

A look back at 2019: Big multifamily sales, “opportunity zones,” and lots of development

Source: Andrew Dodson of the Denver Business Journal

A lot happened in 2019 for the Denver real estate market. Here are a few highlights.

Opportunity Zone Projects

Investors and developers invested around $1 billion in opportunity zones, a plan known as a “once in a lifetime federal economic development program” that allows investors to defer and possibly eliminate capital gain taxes by investing in underdeveloped neighborhoods.

iBuyers Came to Denver

Zillow and Open-door bought hundreds of homes, allowing sellers to close in as little as week. Although we saw more of this is 2019, it actually represented only 1% of the housing market. As convenient as it may sound, ask one of us to tell you about the downfalls (hello 8-10% fees!)

Apartment-community Sales Galore

What happens when you mix low interest rates with increased rental rates? Apartment deals. New construction and old apartment buildings were traded frequently in 2019, including trading Union Denver to Daydream Apartments (with plans to utilize Airbnb ahead) and the iconic Poets Row on Cap Hill to a buyer that made contemporary updates to the vintage sites.

Broadway, Alameda Station Development

South Broadway is about to get a major addition. This 10-acre development will have 887 residential units, 380,000 square feet of office space and 180,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space across the five building layout! As for Alameda Station, 75 acres of land with 1.25 million square feet of retail/residential space will get an addition 8+ million square feet of development. Talk about big changes.

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New rule bans ‘coming soon’ marketing

Source: Andrew Dodson of the Denver Business Journal

Beginning this January, real estate agents will no longer be allowed to market listings as “coming soon.” The driving force behind this? Agents will try to market to their network and score both sides of the transaction. This new rule creates an even playing field for all buyers and agents, but some brokers aren’t happy with the change.

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Denver still feeling priced out of ownership

Source: the Colorado Real Estate Journal

The age old question, revisited: should I rent or should I buy? Here, the author presents statistics that illustrate Denver’s current preference of renting over buying. In the last 10 years, home prices have exceeded rental increases by 24%, requiring far less cash to execute a lease than to transfer a deed. But one thing to note: you don’t need to wait until you have 20% saved up to purchase a home — conventional home loans start with as little as 5% down! In fact, there are other loan products that can bring the down payment even lower.

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Home sellers stretching for every last penny in metro Denver

Source: Aldo Svaldi of the Denver Post

If you were to search “overpricing a home” on Google, you’d find pages upon pages of articles and blog posts advising that it’s a bad idea. A year ago, one could get away with overpricing a home since putting it on the market alone would garner positive attention. Today, things have changed. Highlighting his reasoning with real time Denver market statistics, this article’s author advises slightly under-pricing a home when listing it these days. Agents and buyers not only know what the home is worth; they also know that a listing price must accurately represent the home’s worth in order to see a quick sale.

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Colorado’s population growth is slowing, and that could spell economic trouble down the road

Source: Aldo Svaldi of the Denver Post

While Colorado leads the country in some areas (like housing prices), the birth rate isn’t one of them. While the national birth rate is hovering around 1.8 births per woman, Colorado women are falling behind at 1.7. Why does this matter? To keep the population stable (and prevent things like labor shortages in the future), the birth rate needs to be closer to 2.1 births per woman. Colorado ladies, if you’re on the fence about adding another little one to your brood, here’s a reason for the “just do it” column. 

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Cushman & Wakefield says, ‘Denver is just freaking hip’

Source: Cushman & Wakefield

It’s official: Denver is cool. We already knew this, but now we have a report to back it up. While other cities have one or two “cool streets”, this report has dubbed the entire downtown Denver area as one big “cool street.” We have our creative employment, tech-driven market, and urban revitalization to thank for this! Here are a few details on two of the featured Denver “cool street” areas:

Highland

The Highland neighborhood is chock full of cool streets. While it’s one of Denver’s oldest neighborhoods, it’s been an area of recent (and many) revitalizations.

Find homes for sale in Highland.

RiNo Arts District

The RiNo Arts District was once an industrial neighborhood. As creatives have flocked to the area, it has transformed from warehouses and factories to breweries, galleries, and restaurants as far as the eye can see. The district spreads into three neighborhoods; all which are seeing major transformations and growth.

Find homes for sale around the RiNo Art district in: Five Points, Elyria-Swansea, and Globeville.

Download the free report to see what other Denver hoods were featured!

Download the 2019 Cool Streets Report

See the Interactive Map

Rezoning deal could make way for new skyscrapers on Denver’s Sherman Street if developers agree to build affordable housing

Source: Joe Rubino of the Denver Post

Three lots on Sherman Street, east of downtown, may be getting a makeover soon! The Dikeous family, who owns the lots, is lobbying the city to rezone to allow building over 155 feet, the current view plane restriction. The Dikeous family would agree to more than half a million dollars in sidewalk and street repairs, as well as including 211 affordable housing in their projects. The buildings could be as tall as 45 stories. So far the Dikeous family has put 18 months of work and over 75 neighborhood meetings into the proposed deal.

Reporter Joe Rubino dives into the details of the proposed project, community reaction, and history of the view plane restrictions in the full article below.

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Amid warning signs, recession is not imminent

Source: Jon D. Hendricksoni of the Colorado Real Estate Journal

Rising national unemployment, declining large purchase sales and tumultuous securities markets have some economists forecasting a recession. Despite this, Cushman & Wakefield managing director Jon Hendrickson feels that safe lending practices and Denver’s growth in jobs show a recession is not near.

Hendrickson distinguishes recent recessions from today’s market condition, and why Denver is one of the top markets in the company in the full article.

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The cost of entry to Denver home ownership

Source: Bill Hethcock and Denver Business Journal Staff of the Denver Business Journal

John Burns Real Estate Consulting has analyzed 130 metro areas in the United States for what percentage of their residents can afford an entry-level home in that metro. The report considered a home priced 20% lower than the median in that area as entry level and assumed a 5% down payment. It features an interactive infographic which allows you to compare Denver with other major metros across the country! Denver, with 50.2% of it’s residents able to afford a home in this range, is much more affordable than cities like San Francisco (11%), NYC (36%) and Boulder (40%), but less so than Boston (51%) and Chicago (59%) and several other metros.

Just how big is the barrier to entry to owning a home in Denver? Here are some numbers for the five most expensive zip codes in the city:

Cost of Entry in Denver's Most Expensive ZIP Codes

ZIP CodeDenver Neighborhoods within ZIP CodeMedian Home ValueMonthly Mortgage PaymentMinimum Salary Required
80238Stapleton$592,600$2,989$119,579
80210Platt Park
Rosedale
University
$603,900$3,046$121,860
80230Lowry$626,300$3,159$126,380
80206Congress Park
Cherry Creek
$664,800$3,354$134,148
80209Wash Park$724,900$3,657$146,276

Looking for a neighborhood that’s more friendly to your pocketbook? Reach out to our team and we’d love to help you find your next place.

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As metro Denver home prices continue to rise, one builder’s answer is to go smaller

Source: Aldo Svaldi of the Denver Post

Anyone with a “Native” bumper sticker can tell you how fast home prices have risen in the past decade. The median price is now over five times the median household income, a new record which has economists scratching their heads. This article touches on a frequently overlooked contributor to our current home prices: the size of new homes. With new homes going bigger and bigger in scale, some developers are focusing on building smaller homes to be able to reach the “median” Denver residents.

Read more about the reasons for the rise in Denver home prices and how one developer, Mission Homes, is thinking small in the full article below!

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