Emerging Trends ranks Denver in top 10

Emerging Trends
This photo of Wynkoop Plaza at Union Station graced the cover of the Emerging Trends report. Photo credit: Ryan Dravitz.

Denver made the Top 10 list in the latest Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2019 report, which was released Wednesday.

Denver was ranked No. 8 of 79 metropolitan statistical areas in the comprehensive Emerging Trends report released by PwC US and the Urban Land Institute.

In the Rocky Mountain region, Denver ranked first of eight cities. The Dallas-Fort Worth area was ranked first.

The Emerging Trends report, in its 40thyear, is compiled based on interviews and surveys from almost 2,400 leaders in real estate. They include investors, fund managers, developers, property companies, lenders, brokers, advisers and consultants.

Emerging Trends

Overall, Denver ranked 8th in the Emerging Trends report.

Market strengths of Denver, according to anonymous sources quoted in the report, include:

  • Growth of DIA as major international airport, with land to develop around it;
  • Growing tourism and convention market that has fueled the hospitality industry; and
  • Availability of key parcels, including infill sites in the city.

Denver, according to Emerging Trends, shares many of the same traits as other cities in the Mountain Region, including Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Boise, Idaho.

Emerging Trends

Denver was No. 1 in the Mountain Region. Source: Emerging Trends.

“The quality of life offered in the Mountain Region should continue to be attractive to millennials looking to start families,” according to the report.

The report also noted that the 2019 population growth rate is projected to be “well above the national average” in the Mountain Region, including Denver. Population growth “is needed to support the growth of their economies” and the Mountain Region is expected to outpace the nation’s growth not only next year but also for the next five years.

The report went on to say that net migration is “particularly strong” in Denver, Phoenix and Las Vegas.

However, Denver is one of the few markets in the Mountain Region where housing is not affordable, putting Denver at a competitive disadvantage.

Other markets in the region remain relatively affordable, “although to some extent they have been victims of their own success,” according to Emerging Trends.

“Single-family home affordability in Denver is now below the national average, while affordability has trended down in Las Vegas and Phoenix,” according to the report.

Still, “Real estate development and investment activity is robust in all of the markets in the region. Phoenix, Denver and Salt Lake City report strong activity in nearly all property types,” according to the Emerging Trends report.

One cool thing about the Emerging Trends is that the cover photo of the report was of Wynkoop Plaza at Union Station. The photo was taken by Denver-based photographer Ryan Dravitz.

If you scratch the surface of just about any deal, there is a story behind it. The Rebchook Real Estate Corner looks at the what and who that make the Colorado commercial real estate industry spin every Tuesday and Thursday online at CREJ.com. The people behind the deals are passionate about what they do, whether they focus on offices, apartments, industrial, retail, land or lending. They also are passionate about their clients. Given the cyclical nature of commercial real estate, those who prosper in it have plenty of stories to tell. I hope to share them with you. 

This column includes news stories, in-depth looks at deals, profiles, Q&As and pieces on the latest trends. Contact John with story tips at JRCHOOK@gmail.com or 303-945-6865.

John Rebchook has been taking the pulse of the Denver-area and Colorado commercial real estate world for almost 35 years. He joined the editorial staff of CREJ in 2011. Prior to that, he was the Real Estate Editor of the Rocky Mountain News from 1983 until it closed in 2009.