Jefferson County’s dwelling costs rise as Denver homebuyers transfer away

Double-digit house price increases have been common in the Denver area for the past four quarters, but when it comes to the highest growth rates, Jefferson County’s homeowners have been the clear top performer, according to a study by Zillow.

The Seattle-based home search engine and research firm surveyed 50 cities and neighborhoods in the Denver metropolitan area and measured the change in property values ​​between June 30, 2020, when markets reopened after a lockdown, and 30. Of that group, 10 were the 12 places of highest esteem in Jefferson County and the other two in Douglas County.

“Across the country, we see buyers moving towards larger, more affordable homes. Especially since living near the office is less of a concern with the explosion of remote working, shoppers in the Denver area are more likely to be outside of the city center, ”said Cory Hopkins, executive editor at Zillow Research.

Housing values ​​in many Jeffco communities were already above the subway average, suggesting that the premium folks have long lived near the mountains. As the pandemic made home buyers look for more space to live, the district with the largest average property sizes in the metropolitan area benefited again.

“The pandemic may have made more people consider the area as it strikes a good balance with homes that are typically larger than Denver, Arapahoe, and Adams Counties and more affordable than Douglas Counties,” Hopkins said .

Where the greatest profits came from

The West Pleasant View neighborhood, which is east of the Golden Cemetery and has Camp George West and the Jeffco Fairgrounds on its eastern border, saw the highest growth in property values ​​at 28.5% of the 50 locations surveyed, according to Zillow.

The runners-up were all in Jefferson County with one exception. Edgewater, Wheat Ridge, Columbine, Conifer, Applewood, Arvada, and Morrison all saw gains in the 22% range. Not far behind were Golden, Lakewood, Evergreen, and Ken Caryl, also in Jefferson County.

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According to Anthony Rael, an agent for the RE / MAX Alliance in Arvada, several new construction projects in Candelas, a master-planned community, likely have helped increase Arvada’s appreciation. Lot sizes in the parish are pretty average, but the houses themselves are large. And buyers were able to customize the homes to offer more dedicated remote workspace, which was much appreciated during the pandemic.

Larkspur in Douglas County was the only non-Jeffco neighborhood to make it into the top 10 in the Denver metropolitan area, up 22.6% from homes valued at $ 839,651 in June 2020. It ranked third overall, after West Pleasant View and Edgewater.

Denver was not doing as well as the suburbs, according to Zillow, with an annual gain of 13.3% versus a typical home value of $ 543,544. This was ranked 44th out of a total of 50 districts and cities included in the survey. But the price gains were very different depending on the neighborhood.

Sun Valley, which is located south of Empower Field at Mile High, saw the largest price increase in Denver at 19.8%, according to the Zillow poll, with the base price at $ 506,050 in June 2020.

Athmar Park, Harvey Park, Ruby Hill, Barnum West and Mar Lee saw value increases of between 16.7% and 18.7%, making Southwest Denver a relatively strong appreciation zone over the past year. Rosedale in south central Denver saw home prices rise 17.4%, while home prices in Clayton and Elyria Swansea north of the CBD rose 17.1%.

No neighborhood in Denver lost its home value, but 10 saw single-digit gains, according to Zillow. These included Five Points, Cherry Creek, Windsor, Capitol Hill, Cheesman Park, North Capitol Hill, Civic Center, Auraria, the Central Business District, and Union Station.

Some of this reflects a higher concentration of condominiums that fell out of favor during the pandemic due to their density and the closure of nearby bars, restaurants, and entertainment options, making these areas less attractive.

Different ways to measure appreciation

Matt Leprino, CEO of real estate brokerage firm Remingo, said the sales-based home appreciation numbers he is tracking are inconsistent with what Zillow shows. Denver County saw a 29% increase in value for single-family or “detached” homes in the second quarter versus 23% for Jefferson County.

For Leprino, Denver is not a straggler, but a leader. So why the difference?

Zillow has a valuation tool that estimates a value for each home in a neighborhood that it can use to determine the value of homes in a particular neighborhood over time. Another approach, however, is to look at the mix of homes sold in a given period and compare it to closing prices in an earlier period.

Another study by Orchard, a real estate company that helps buyers get cash deals on the homes they want, took advantage of the sales and found much higher appreciation rates than Zillow, in part because luxury homes have sold a larger proportion of the property mix this year than last.

“We’re seeing bigger price increases across Denver for bigger homes. The sale price of homes over 2,500 square feet increased 25% from 2020 to 2021, compared to 19% for homes 1,500 square feet and under, ”said Trevor Patch, senior manager of data science at Orchard. “Most homes this size are outside of downtown Denver and Boulder, which is why these suburbs are experiencing such a price boom.”

Denver zip code 80218, which spans portions of the Denver Country Club neighborhood to City Park West, had the largest increase in the average price of a house sold, 52% – from $ 755,000 in the second quarter of 2020 to $ 1.1 million in the second quarter 2021.

Postal code 80124, which includes Lone Tree and Heritage Hills, had a 48% increase in the median price of a home sold, from $ 615,000 to $ 907,500. Other zip codes with appreciation rates in excess of 40% were Evergreens 80439, Foxtons 80433, Northeast Boulders 80301, and Greenwood Villages 80121, according to the Orchard study.

Many of the largest relative increases in median prices occurred in the southern and western suburbs of Denver. The mostly less popular east side of the subway area had more action due to cheaper new buildings. Aurora and Parker had far more transactions than any other part of the region, according to Orchard’s survey.

Patch predicts that the shifts people have made toward the subway’s fringes and up into the foothills are likely to persist after they return to normal.

“I’ve seen situations where people have moved away from the city, to places like Berthoud or Evergreen, and commute to work one or two days a week if necessary. People made these decisions for the long term, not just for the months after the pandemic started, ”he said.

Orchard described the entire Denver metro market as “cutthroat” in the second quarter, with half of the homes in 85 of 95 zip codes surveyed spending four days or less in the market.

At 80023 from Broomfield, 80107 from Elbert County, and 80108 from Douglas County, the average days a home was on the market increased from 21, 20, and 19, respectively, in Q2 2020 to just 4 days in Q2 2021.

But the housing market in the Denver metropolitan area showed signs of slowing in July, which was outside the timeframe studied by Zillow and Orchard. Inventories rose sharply from a low level and the monthly increases in home prices remained unchanged.

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