When it comes to real estate, things actually aren't so bad here in Denver. Our guide to the myths and realities of the local market will show you why.
Yes, these are the worst economic conditions since your grandfather's primary vehicle was a tricycle, with no end and little clarity in sight.
So let's gather ourselves and sort out which numbers really matter and which ones merely perpetuate the fear that's gripped the financial and real estate markets for months. First: Denver actually scores remarkably well on the index of overall housing-related distress. In 2008, area foreclosures declined almost 12 percent from 2007, the first year-over-year decrease in more than a decade. Second: Our home prices "only" declined by 5.1 percent from January 2008 to early 2009—compared to the national average of 19 percent—a relatively slight dip that made Denver one of the nation's top housing markets in 2008.
Of course, such a "victory" doesn't mean we should revert to the pre-meltdown shenanigans that characterized real estate almost everywhere, from Denver to Durango and beyond. And we shouldn't forget that certain pockets of Denver—primarily around the city's perimeter—are still suffering (see "Street Cleaning", page 28). But our housing market, while fragile, still offers opportunities to get good deals—and sometimes even cash in. All you need to know is the difference between fact and fiction. With that, let the truth telling begin.
Myths & Realities
It's Still (Pretty) Easy Being Green
How to Take Advantage of Historically Low REFI Rates
The Downtown Lowdown
How to Get the Best Return on Investment from Your Remodeling Project
Go Invest, Young Man!