Is Denver’s Market a Model for Phoenix’s Future?

I’m out of my element a little as I’m writing this month from Denver, Colorado.  My wife and I are on a quick 3 day trip to visit family in the Fort Collins area…home of Colorado State University and New Belgium Fat Tire for you beer drinking type.  Before we headed North, I had to see what all of this Denver real estate hype was about as my friends who live here talk about real estate more than I do…which is strange considering that one is a chiropractor and the other is a teacher.  Upon further research, I discovered that prices are up over 10% in the past year and that the median home price is $355,000 compared to that in Phoenix of only $210,000.  These statistics aren’t surprising as Denver is light years ahead of Phoenix in terms of its urban design, cleanliness, and quality retail offerings.

Like any good Arcadians would, we decided to start our self-guided real estate tour at a place that is very familiar to all of us….Postinos.  Yes, Postinos has a location in a hip little neighborhood called LoHi which sits just West of Coors Field and the I-25 freeway.  I figured that if the savvy business owners over at Upward Projects had a location here that it must be special.  LoHi has a very eccentric, downtown San Diego kind of feel where condominium living is preferred.  There are neighborhood restaurants on almost every corner with yoga studios sprinkled in between.  The average 1,700 square foot condo will set you back about $650,000 in this little millennial hotspot.

Next, we toured the “Wash Park” neighborhood.  Washington Park is one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Denver with beautiful single family homes lining both sides of the street and a 165 acre park for all of your outdoor activities.  This neighborhood feels like Phoenix’s Willow District on steroids.  Most of the homes here were built in the 1890s and sit on tight 6,000 sq.ft. lots, but over the past 5 years, almost every home has been remodeled or built new which gives the neighborhood a clean, consistent look.  The average Wash Park home runs about $900,000 with approximately 2,400 square feet.

I love exploring new cities because it gives me a different perspective on the real estate market around us.  While the Camelback Corridor is ahead of the game by Phoenix standards, I think there is a lot that we can do as residents and business owners to take it to the next level.  I think that creative neighborhood businesses and urban infill projects will continue to help us get up to par with what is taking place in other cities such as Denver.  Lets get creative and work together to create more special places 🙂