Buying a Home in Denver Metro Area: A Home Buyer’s Guide

April 26, 2024
Last updated:
April 26, 2024
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Are you considering a move and wondering how to buy a home in Denver, CO?

You’re in good company. The Denver area continues to attract home buyers from across the country. They’re drawn to its economic strength, stunning natural surroundings, and a mix of urban, suburban and rural housing options.

But should you consider buying a home in the Denver metro area?

This article provides a comprehensive overview of the Denver metro area, focusing on key aspects relevant to home buyers. From the geographical layout to the real estate market trends and local attractions, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make an informed decision in this home buyer’s guide to Denver, CO.

About the Denver Metro Area

Situated in the heart of Colorado, the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metropolitan area encompasses roughly 8,400 square miles across multiple counties. The counties that make up this metro area include Denver, Arapahoe, Adams, Jefferson, Douglas, and Boulder.

With a population surpassing 3 million residents, the Denver metro area is the most populous region in Colorado and also serves as the state’s economic and cultural hub.

According to the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation (EDC), the region’s population has grown steadily over the past 10 years and is expected to exceed 3.6 million people by the year 2030.

Key cities within the metro area include:

  • Denver: The state capital and an economic powerhouse of the region.
  • Aurora: A major suburb east of Denver, offering some diverse housing options.
  • Lakewood: West of Denver, with stunning mountain views and a suburban community feel.

Denver is part of the Front Range Urban Corridor, which includes some of Colorado’s other major cities like Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and Boulder (and their surrounding suburbs). College towns like Greeley and Fort Collins are also part of this corridor.

The Local Economy and Major Employers

Historically, the Denver area’s economy relied heavily on industries like mining and agriculture. And while those industries remain, the local economy has diversified to include technology, aerospace, healthcare, and renewable energy sectors.

Major employers in the Denver-Aurora metropolitan area include Arrow Electronics, Ball Corporation, Children’s Hospital Colorado, HealthONE, Lockheed Martin, UCHealth, and the University of Colorado system.

The region’s pro-business environment and skilled workforce continue to attract companies and startups from elsewhere in the U.S.

The Denver metro area is also a major tech hub, commonly referred to as “Silicon Mountain” (in reference to California’s Silicon Valley). The quantum computing industry, in particular, has found a home in the Denver area and other parts of Colorado.

According to an October 2023 report in The Denver Post:

“The Boulder-Denver area has been a center of research in quantum technology and a pipeline for companies for decades. Quantum computing is seen as taking computing to a new level by using the physics of quantum physics to solve more complex statistical problems faster and is considered the next big trend in high tech.”

Denver’s heavy tech footprint also affects the housing market. With so many well-paid tech workers in the area, it’s no wonder why home prices exceed the national average. So let’s shift gears and talk about the real estate scene next.

Denver Real Estate Market Overview

Like many metropolitan areas across the country, the Denver housing market has experienced fluctuations in recent years, driven by factors such as population growth, economic conditions, and housing supply.

Home prices within the Denver-area real estate market have tracked above the national average for many years. But the gap widened during the pandemic, when a lot of home buyers relocated into housing markets like Denver, Boise and Austin.

As of spring 2024, the median home price in the Denver metro area stood at $581,000, according to Zillow. That was more than $200,000 higher than the national median during that same timeframe.

But the Denver area also has higher household incomes compared to the national average. So there are plenty of buyers in the area who can afford to purchase a home.

The local housing market remains competitive for buyers, particularly in desirable neighborhoods close to downtown Denver and major employment centers. Some of Denver’s best neighborhoods for home buyers include Central Park, Berkeley, Park Hill, Cherry Creek, and Montclair. Each neighborhood brings something a little different, but still offers plenty of opportunity for home buyers.

Home buyers should also be aware that the Denver area continues to deal with a housing market inventory shortage. Right now, there is only a 1.9-month supply of available housing available. This inventory shortage situation is true for many metro areas across the U.S., but conditions are particularly type in formerly red-hot real estate markets like Denver.

Those looking at buying a home in the Denver metro area should be prepared to act quickly and decisively when house hunting. Working with a knowledgeable real estate agent and getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan can also increase your chances for success.

Factors That Attract Home Buyers

Home buyers have streamed into the Denver metro area over the past few years. And it’s easy to see why. There’s a lot to like about this region, from a relocation and home buying perspective.

Here are some reasons why people move to Denver from elsewhere in the country:

  • Outdoor Recreation: Denver’s proximity to the Rocky Mountains offers world-class outdoor recreational opportunities. These include hiking, skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, and more.
  • Thriving Job Market: Denver boasts a diverse economy with strong job growth in industries such as technology, healthcare, aerospace, energy, and outdoor recreation.
  • Quality of Life: With its sunny climate and stunning scenery, Denver offers a high quality of life. Residents can enjoy a healthy work-life balance, numerous entertainment options, and a strong sense of community.
  • Cultural Scene: This city offers a number of cultural attractions, including museums like the Denver Art Museum and the Clyfford Still Museum. Theater fans can experience Broadway-caliber productions at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Music lovers have iconic venues like Red Rocks Amphitheatre and the intimate Bluebird Theater.
  • Strong Education System: The Denver area is home to a number of top-rated public and private schools, as well as several colleges and universities. Families are attracted to the area for its quality education options and opportunities for academic success.
  • Sustainable Living: Denver is known for its commitment to sustainability and environmental conservation. Residents have access to green spaces, bike paths, public transportation options, and eco-friendly initiatives that promote sustainable living.

From a home buying and homeownership standpoint, there’s a lot to like about the Denver, Colorado metro area. It offers a good quality of life, a strong local economy, stable home prices, and natural beauty you won’t find elsewhere. If getting into the real estate market is on your radar, then consider buying a home in the Denver metro area to check all the boxes.

Need a mortgage loan in Denver? Sammamish Mortgage serves home buyers all across the state of Colorado. We offer some of the most flexible mortgage products you’ll find anywhere, along with a streamlined application and underwriting process. Please contact us if you need a home loan and to start the process of mortgage pre-approval in Denver, CO!

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