Denver didn’t quite make the Top 10 list in the latest Emerging Trends report released by the Urban Land Institute.
Instead, Denver ranked No. 11 in the markets to watch in 2017.
In the 2016 Emerging Trends report, Denver ranked No. 6.
The report — compiled annually by ULI and PwC based on interviews and surveys of thousands of leading real estate investors, fund managers, developers, property companies, lenders, brokers, advisers and consultants — had little bad to say about Denver, despite its drop in the ratings.
“Denver has seen particularly strong growth in the leisure and hospitality, construction, and professional business and service sectors,” according to Emerging Trends.
“Despite strong labor force growth, the city’s unemployment rate is now at its lowest rate in 15 years. Due to the tightening labor market, Denver workers are enjoying hourly earnings growth that is outpacing the national average,” the report continued.
However, in the only sour note in the report, it noted that Denver has “not been able to completely escape the downturn in the energy-related business services sector. With the decline in operating oil rigs in the United States, a number of service firms have reduced administrative staff.”
Yet, Denver already appears to have largely bounced back.
“The good news is that the worst of these layoffs has likely already occurred and that with the strong demand for labor, most these workers have already been absorbed back into the workforce,” according to Emerging Trends. The 2016 Emerging Trends report had this to say: “The strength of the economy in Colorado’s state capital seems to have put it on everybody’s list of top markets for 2016…Denver has taken advantage of a location and a culture that are attractive to a qualified workforce and exposure to growing technology industries.”
That theme extended into the 2017 Emerging Trends report, which predicted that professional services would be the growth driver of the Denver economy this year.
“The market has enjoyed the creation and relocation of a number of engineering, computer systems design and scientific research companies,” according to Emerging Trends.
“These firms are drawn to the qualified labor force that, in turn, has come to Denver for the high quality of life.”
For a more in-depth look at the Emerging Trends report and local and national trends, be sure to attend the ULI Colorado conference from 7 a.m. until 10 a.m. this Thursday.
The conference is at the Embassy Suites hotel at 1420 Stout St. As many as 350 people are expected to attend.
Patrick Phillips, the Global CEO of ULI, will be a keynote speaker.
California-based John Burns, CEO of John Burns Real Estate Consulting, which has a regional office in Boulder, also will be a national speaker.
Local panelists at the ULI Colorado event, moderated by Patricia Gage, an executive vice president at the Colorado Business Bank, include:
- Thomas W. Toomey CEO and president of Highlands Ranch-based UDR Inc., one of the largest apartment REITs in the world;
- Mike Kercheval, executive director of the CU Real Estate Center;
- John Jugl, vice chairman of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank;
- And Ann Sperling, senior director of Trammell Crow Co.