We are absolutely thrilled to welcome a whole new listenership to the Jay Garvens Show, as this week marked our inaugural show on 760 AM in Denver. They will be joining our established audience on 1240 AM here in Colorado Springs. To mark the occasion, we brought in Colorado Springs’s premier real estate expert, Bill McAfee of Empire Title, to talk about our local markets and treat our new Denver audience to the keen insights and unique analysis that our Colorado Springs audience has come to expect each time Bill is a guest on our show!
I’ve discussed demographics a lot over the last few years, but listeners in Denver may not have been up to speed on what we have covered so far. To help them out, I reviewed many of the key concepts that we have covered on this show previously. With Bill’s help, we were able to take these concepts and apply them to the Denver market. This helped acquaint Denver’s listeners with these concepts while giving Colorado Springs listeners a new and probably very familiar market to contrast with Colorado Springs’s market to see how demographic variables can change an entire market.
Many are surprised to learn that Colorado Springs is the 44th largest metro area in the country—probably because the city is so spread out and doesn’t feel very large. Denver, meanwhile, is the 21st most populous metro area. Those who watched the real estate markets in both areas, however, saw that Denver was a red-hot market throughout 2012 and 2013 when Colorado Springs’s market saw only moderate gains in house prices. Our market, while robust, lacked the dramatic increases that Denver witnessed.
What accounted for this difference? Demographics! Denver’s population is generally younger and less fluid than Colorado Springs—which is to say they don’t have as high a proportion of highly mobile people as the Springs does as a result of the various Army and Air Force bases. Denver residents move there to start careers and stay put long enough to start families and move to bigger homes. Denver has a vibrant tech sector that attracts young, relatively wealthy professionals that prefer to concentrate themselves inside the city.
While differences can be seen between the Denver and Colorado Springs metro areas, even bigger differences can be seen within the Denver metro area by contrasting areas such as Cherry Creek and Capitol Hill with places like Aurora or Littleton. Areas closer to downtown Denver saw much faster appreciation than Denver’s suburbs, and the values have remained high even as the state and national real-estate market has softened over the last year or so. Like us, Denver was also fortunate to have escaped the worst excesses of the early-2000s construction boom that afflicted places like Phoenix and Las Vegas. This probably helped control the housing supply and is now helping drive up the demand of housing.
We are absolutely thrilled to introduce ourselves to Denver, and I am looking forward to hearing from Denver listeners for new insights into their market and hopefully teach them some new things in return. The differences between our two markets offer an ideal laboratory to analyze the effects demographics on local markets, and it will be incredibly fascinating to see how both our markets evolve over the next few years as the Millennials begin to reach their peak productive years. Stay tuned!
1-24-2015 Demographics in Your Own Backyard