Jun 10, 2023 - Real Estate

Homes are more expensive in Denver's suburbs than the city

Data: Redfin; Chart: Axios Visuals

Buyers once flocked to the suburbs for cheaper housing. Now, you'll get more space but could be paying more for your home than urban dwellers.

Why it matters: No one's winning this market.

What they're saying: "I rarely have people who say they want to be in the thick of it all. They tend to want nature and serenity and peace and quiet," says Kelly Moye, a local Compass agent and spokesperson for the Colorado Association of Realtors.

Driving the news: Remote work spurred demand for suburban life, and is still a driving force. There are also two generations going through big life changes, Moye says.

  • Millennials are in their 30s, buying first or second homes and starting families. Those buyers tend to want space and yards for their growing families and pets.
  • And boomers have become empty-nesters. Moye has seen a surge in demand for low-maintenance patio homes, which are typically built in the suburbs.

Yes, but: Real estate is hyperlocal, which means what you're looking for β€” and where β€” matters.

What's happening: Home prices are dropping across Denver, but the suburbs are holding steadier due to high demand.

By the numbers: Denver County's median home sales price was $668,750, down 10.8% from April 2022 to April 2023, per MLS data shared with Axios.

  • In Jefferson County, the median home sales price was $685,000, down 5.5%.
  • In Aurora, it was $535,000, down 7%.
  • In Centennial, it was $675,000, down 11.8%.

Zoom out: With high mortgage rates and low inventory across the board, buyers are settling down wherever they can find a house within their budget β€” or sitting on the sidelines, says Redfin senior economist Sheharyar Bokhari.

  • If home prices in urban areas continue to decrease, we could see a return to those areas.
  • "The cost will outweigh any amenity," Bokhari says.

What's next: Budget-conscious buyers will start looking in more rural areas as inventory and affordability issues spread through the suburbs.

The bottom line: The suburbs are pricey, but you still get more space for your splurge.

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