As metro Denver area homebuyers cope with the challenges of limited supply and rising prices, buyers increasingly show three trends about what they want.
John Skrabec, Live Urban Real Estate president, says buyers want more space outside the city, to live in hip urban areas, or use real estate as an investment strategy.
Room to breathe
Buyers are looking at western suburbs like Wheat Ridge, Golden, and Lakewood as they want homes with big backyards where their children can play outside safely, Skrabec says.
“They want grass, no busy streets, and light traffic,” he says. “They want more suburban settings with roads where kids can play and ride bikes without worrying about the traffic.”
These buyers also want outdoor space and trails as well as easy access to Colorado’s ski areas.
Hip urban areas
Many people moving to Colorado from out of state want to relocate to hip, walkable neighborhoods with space for home offices to accommodate telecommuters. Others want to move back to metro Denver after spending the pandemic in a more remote area.
These buyers are willing to spend a lot of money, and their desire shows the continuing appeal of popular Denver neighborhoods like Sunnyside, West Colfax, and Regis, Skrabec says.
“These buyers want walkability to restaurants and bars and an easy distance to grocery stores.”
Many buyers also are looking for more than a home where they can live. Younger buyers especially are more invested in their financial future, Skrabec says.
“They want to invest and build equity by making the right choices proactively,” he says. “So, they want to discover the up-and-coming neighborhoods that may be affordable now but will continue to appreciate in the future.”
Buyers also are looking for homes with ADUs (think basement or above garage apartments or freestanding tiny second homes on the residential property) that they can live in now but potentially rent out in the future.
“They’re looking for ways they can house hack their way to more financial stability,” Skrabec says.
Allie Carlson, West + Main managing broker, agrees buyers who move from being renters to owners are now more focused on the long-term appreciation potential for their first homes.
“In my opinion, buyers are looking at the tried-and-true areas that are always desirable like Wheat Ridge, Highlands, Sunnyside, and Wash Park. Or they want to look places that may be less expensive but are still easily accessible, like Arvada, Sloan’s Lake south of Colfax, or Greenway.”
Finding the sweet spot
Most buyers are looking for homes in the $375,000 to $500,000 price range, Carlson says. But finding those houses is often next to impossible.
Houses continue to sell within days, often for $20,000 to $70,000 over the asking price, she says.
“Right now, for every 10 buyers, there’s half a house available.”
The news and editorial staffs of The Denver Post had no role in this post’s preparation.