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Thinking About Moving to Denver?

Posted at 11/10/2021 03:15 PM by Pat O'Connor

This fall marks the 43rd year I’ve lived in Colorado. And 33 of those years were spent in the Denver metro area.

When I arrived in 1978, the tallest building in Denver was the former “Anaconda Building” at 555 - 17th St. It still stands at 709 feet tall, 40 floors; however, it has dropped to 7th on the list of tallest buildings in the city.

Needless to say, the changes in the Mile High City go beyond that of the ever-changing skyline. Since the early 1990s, residents have witnessed a dizzying succession of changes in the city. From the redevelopment and the “pinning” of LoDo, the completion of Coors Field and Denver International Airport to the emergent RTD light rail system, and the ongoing construction of new buildings from RiNo to Cherry Creek, the metamorphosis has been jaw-dropping.

It’s a far cry from the days when the streets of downtown Denver would roll up at 5 p.m. and downtown would become a virtual ghost town until offices reopened the next day. Now, every neighborhood in central Denver is a vibrant scene for the workforce, residents, and visitors alike, from morning 'til night.

Denver Continues to be a Popular Destination

While the pandemic took its toll on the urban landscape and the level of activity, Denver remains a popular destination for the young and old. Remote work opportunities have caused people to rethink where they live and consider locales that provide better work-play balance.

According to a recent report by Apartment List, people currently living in Boulder top the locations of where people are searching for available places to live in Denver. Coming in second is New York City followed by Colorado Springs.

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People looking for Denver apartments outside of the Denver metro area account for 41 percent of the searches.  

Interestingly, Colorado was the fourth most "moved to" state in the United States, trailing Florida, Texas, and California, according to move.org. But the Centennial State also ranked ninth among the states people are leaving.

Colorado was the fourth most "moved to" state in the United States, trailing Florida, Texas, and California, according to move.org.

Lack of affordable housing and income loss was a top reason for the departures, according to the report. Still, Colorado continues to attract new residents, especially those seeking an enhanced work-life balance as outlined below.

Pool of Workforce Talent Continues to Attract New Companies

The business and commercial sector has taken advantage of the workforce living in and near downtown Denver. Despite the pandemic's impact on various industries, Denver continues to be a popular choice for businesses looking to relocate and expand.

According to a recent report by CBRE, the Mile High City is ranked  12th in the nation in technology talent. Part of the Mile High City's appeal includes its high number of people 25 years and older having a bachelor's degree (over 50 percent), a large number of Millennials, and the lure of the outdoors lifestyle.

The Mile High City is ranked  12th in the nation in technology talent.

The city is home to over 650,000 people and the metropolitan area’s population boasts 2.9 million. Local higher education institutions Regis University, the University of Denver, University of Colorado-Denver, Metro State University, and the Colorado School of Mines churn out an educated workforce, along with the nearby University of Colorado-Boulder and Colorado State University. 

Denver International Airport hosts the country’s third-largest domestic air service, and approximately 35,000 people work in many different industries and professions at Denver International Airport. Having access to a large, international airport is often a critical piece in determining where a company establishes a presence.

Furthermore, the State of Colorado offers tax incentives to attract large employers, and Denver is a great place to live thanks to its plentiful sunshine, invigorating outdoor activities, strong neighborhood character, and a myriad of independent businesses, including oodles of coffee shops, restaurants, and breweries.

From August 2020 to July 2021, Denver saw the following major companies move in: Palantir Technologies, Contentful, Sasaki, Kleos Space, Hughes Marino, Dialectic Engineering, AgriWebb and Victrola, to name just a few.

Thinking of moving to denver

Denver Metro Area Residential Real Estate Surges With Record Sales

In October of 2020, the average home price in Denver had gone up 16.2 percent year-over-year. This year, that number rose 9.53 percent, still a big jump but less monumental and putting us closer to 2018 gains of 7.12 percent. So what does that mean for active home buyers and current homeowners?

See Homes For Sale in Denver, Colorado

It means that homes are still increasing in price at a high rate, but the 20 percent gains we saw as a result of the pandemic could potentially be waning. The numbers do not indicate that prices are going to drop anytime soon or even stay stagnant, so now is still an incredible time to sell and a great time to buy and start gaining equity immediately.

The average price of a single-family home is $684,700 while the average condo sells for $440,560. Furthermore, homes are on the market an average of only 14 days before going under contract.

A combination of low interest rates, people wanting more space, and pent-up demand has made Denver a hotbed of real estate activity. Home sellers' are enjoying multiple offers and bidding wars, cash offers, and favorable closing terms while buyers face increased competition and low inventory.

Despite the challenges, buyers can increase the odds of finding their dream home by adjusting their approach to the buying process and pursuing some tried and true practices. Patience and compromise are key, and having the right broker by your side can make a huge difference.

Learn More About Home Buying

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Transportation Options, Outdoor and Cultural Opportunities Boost Denver's Appeal

For those unable to live in Denver or who still prefer living outside of the city, RTD is making the commute much easier to get into the downtown Denver sector. From its meager roots, the RTD light rail now offers multiple light and commuter rail lines linking the suburbs to the city from all directions. The completed G commuter line has brought Arvada and northwest Denver into the fold, and now the N line is operating, which will link the north Denver suburbs to downtown.

In addition to RTD's light rail, commuter trains and bus service, there are many shared ride services in Denver as well as dockless scooters and bikes to help you get around town without having to drive a car. 

Finally, the cultural and recreational opportunities, and professional sports teams of Denver rival that of much larger cities.

all about moving to denver

The pandemic has increased people's desire to enjoy the outdoors and take advantage of all the recreational pursuits available in our backyard. Denver boasts an amazing array of parks that have been meticulously groomed for over 100 years. The Denver Parks and Recreation facilities are unrivaled in the Rocky Mountain West. The park system spans over a 148-year history, from the first park created in 1868 to nearly 20,000 acres of urban parks and mountain greenbelts today.

In addition to the parks, there are miles and miles of bike paths that run along the South Platte River and Cherry Creek. This trail system allows cyclists to explore the entire metro area and beyond.

And finally, if you love sports, Denver is home to four major professional sports teams -- Broncos (NFL) Nuggets (NBA), Avalanche (NHL) and Rockies (MLB) plus the Colorado Rapids soccer team (MLS), and Denver Outlaws (MLL) and Colorado Mammoth (NLL) lacrosse teams. The Mile High City is also home to collegiate sports: the University of Denver Pioneers and Metro State University of Denver Roadrunners.

So whether it’s the economy, the business climate, public transportation or recreation opportunities, Denver has it all. And nearly 700,000 current residents can’t be wrong.

Learn More About Home Buying

(Editor's note: This blog was last published in October of 2020. It has been edited and updated to provide current information)

Posted by Pat O'Connor

Pat O’Connor has dual citizenship in both Wisconsin and Colorado, having been born and raised in Wisconsin Dells, but later adopted by the Centennial State. A graduate of the University of Colorado (B.S. Journalism, 1980), O’Connor began her career as a sportswriter at the Boulder Daily Camera under the tutelage of the venerable Dan Creedon. Her experience also includes stints in public relations at Aspen Highlands Ski Area, the Colorado Trial Lawyers and the Colorado Division of Wildlife. When she isn’t piecing together sentences, the self-proclaimed “Cheesehead” enjoys traveling, running, playing golf, hiking 14ers, horseback riding and skiing. During football season, she can be found cheering for the Buffs and "whooping it up" when the Packers win. She loves talking sports and giving recommendations on cheese curds.

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Topics: Denver Real Estate News