Our Take on Denver, Colorado
By Chris Rising
There are few cities in America that offer relatively quick flights to either coast, over 300 days of sunshine, a vibrant downtown, an extensive city park system and...nearby ski resorts. It may not be a big surprise that we see Denver as an ideal market to invest in. Consistently recognized as one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, the capital of Colorado is the most populous city in the state and the 19th most populous city in the country. Its central location within America, and between Tokyo and Frankfurt, has made it a strategic location for conducting domestic and international business. Major telecommunication companies such as Quest Communication, Dish Network Corporation, Starz-Encore, DirecTV and Comcast all call Denver home due to its centralized location that enables easy communication with both North American coasts.
Unlike many other markets across the country, Denver has remained an affordable market on a relative basis. The rent-to-income ratio is significantly lower than other major markets like San Francisco, Los Angeles or New York. Combined with a strong economy, supported by one of the lowest major metropolitan unemployment rates in the U.S., we think Denver makes an ideal market to invest in. Over 200,000 new graduates from the three universities in the Denver area are continuously absorbed into the workforce each year, representing a competitive workforce outlook. Of Denver’s metro population of 3.2 million, 1 million is made up of millennials with diversified employment across the information, trade/transportation/utilities, government and education, and health industries.
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Additionally, Metro Denver boasts a population growth rate that has continued to outpace the national rate every decade since the 1930s. The market has grown steadily over the past decade and according to forecasted numbers from the Colorado State Demography Office, the population is expected to increase to over 3.3 million by 2020 and could increase to 4.5 million by 2050. This strong projected population growth includes a steady net immigration of millenials, who make up 1 million of Metro Denver’s 3.2 million residents. This annual millennial population increase ranks among the top in U.S. cities. In Downtown Denver, the residential population has grown by 188% since 2000, fueled by over $7 billion in public and private investments.
Combined with the walkable lifestyle benefits offered by Denver, the strategic public/private investments in public transit, increasing tenant in-migration, local tenant expansion, below-average rent-to-income ratio and the widening price gap relative to gateway metro cities in the US, we see Denver as the ideal city poised to benefit for years to come.