What started out as an easy blog post in my head – I was just going to point out how the supply of homes for sale in Broomfield is crazy low right now – ended up being about legalized pot and who’s moving to CO and who isn’t and blah blah blah.
Argh! I spent all day yesterday researching and poking around for answers – all day. I’m going to blame my dear friend Anita, who called the day after Christmas to tell me her parents are moving here and can I help them get a home? (Of course!) But she told her dad it’s tough to buy a home here now, because “everyone” is moving here for the legal pot and buying all the homes up. She’s not the first person, btw, to tell me this. A LOT of people have said this to me so here’s what I think I know:
Let me say from the beginning that this is most definitely not a scientifically rigorous study – I feel the need to point this out because I don’t want my readers to take what I’ve written as gospel truth. It’s just me as a real estate agent looking at the numbers (which I can’t guarantee to be 100% accurate) in a geeky way like I enjoy doing. Just me and my opinion that pot legalization is not the primary cause of a low supply of homes for sale in the metro Denver area.
And while I’m certainly willing to entertain the possibility that legalizing marijuana in CO has caused an enormous influx in people buying up homes, in my opinion, the data just doesn’t bear it out. I’ve watched the supply of homes listed decrease year after year (for the last several years) for starters. And the number of homes that have sold has either increased only slightly or even declined – depending on where you look (I’m going to guess this is due largely to a lack of supply to begin with, and not large numbers of pot fanatics). (And I did NOT look at home sale numbers statewide – some economist somewhere can crunch the data on that for a journal article.)
Population change in Colorado
Colorado was the 4th highest state (if you count Washington DC) in terms of population increase (from 2010 to 2014) – North Dakota increased by 9.95%, Washington D.C. increased by 9.5%, and Texas increase by 7.2% and then we have Colorado with 6.5%. Utah trails by just a snitch at 6.48%, Florida with 5.81%, and Washington, which also voted to legalize pot at the same time as Colorado, was at #8 with 5.01%. From April 2000 to 2010, CO population increased by 16.9%. From 1980 to 2005, Colorado’s population increased 61%. Between 1990 and 2000, Colorado’s population grew 30.6%. My point to that is, Colorado has always been pretty popular and didn’t just get exciting when we legalized marijuana! Even in the article “Ganjapreneurs Flock to Colorado Following Marijuana Legalization” they point out that, “Between 1995 and 2000 alone, 644,000 people moved to Colorado from other states. So really, the ganjapreneurs aren’t the only ones bringing in green.”
Broomfield Real Estate Market
The chart below shows the number of active listings (by month) from January 2012 to December 2014. Note that at its peak in May 2012 there were 445 active listings in Broomfield but at the highest point in 2014, which was August, there were only 177 active listings for the month.
Now, just in case you were thinking that must mean that hundreds upon hundreds of homes are being snatched up by pot fanatics here’s the number of homes sold in Broomfield from 2012 to 2014:
At the peak for 2013 there were 98 homes sold in June and at the peak for 2014 there were 111. An increase yes, but I’m pretty sure that’s not a huge increase due to those seeking legalized marijuana.
Denver Real Estate Market
So what about Denver? After all, Denver has more pot shops than Starbucks yes? That must be where everyone is moving! The next graph shows that at its peak in June 2012 there were 3,913 active listings in Denver and at its peak in 2014 (September) there were 1,298 active listings.
Now on to the number of homes actually sold in Denver – unlike Broomfield, the number of overall home sales is down in 2014. The highest number sold was July 2013 at 1,061 while the highest volume month of 2014 (June) lists 923 homes sold.
I’m not claiming to have the complete answer here but I’m just not seeing that “everyone” is moving here and buying homes at such a rate that no one else can get their hands on one – as my friends, clients and neighbors keep insisting!
So let’s try one more while I still have you here (you’re still here right?!)
Westminster Real Estate Market
Westminster, CO active listings from 2012-2014 – the 2 highest points of June and August 2012 there were 613 active listings while the highest point of 2014 was July with 194 listings.
Now let’s try the number of homes sold in Westminster: like Denver, Westminster was down overall for 2014. In June 2013 at its peak, there were 172 homes sold. June 2014 saw the highest number of homes sold for the year at 144.
Let me add my usual caveat here: all of this information, including the charts, came from data on the Metrolist database. The information is only as accurate as the real estate agents who enter it and sometimes it’s not that accurate – apparently at times they can’t even be bothered to get the neighborhood or the county right…
BUT I think that in general it can give you a good idea of what’s happening in the metro-Denver area where real estate is concerned. And I’m going to maintain that it’s not the fans of pot legalization who are flooding the state and buying up all the homes!
I find the the whole process of buying and selling homes absolutely fascinating and I truly love to help people buy and sell them. If you’re interested in knowing more about the process please click here to contact me or you can click here if you’d like to know more about me first!
“I really appreciate the great job you did finding me the perfect house. To this day, I’m still in awe of how perfect this house is for me. You did a great job working with me while I was living in Pueblo. As fast as houses were selling, I didn’t know how I would get to Denver in time to make an offer before someone else beat me. I’m so very thankful for that.” Pat Ransome
Based on information from Metrolist®, Inc. for the period of January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2014. Note: This representation is based in whole or in part on content supplied by Metrolist®, Inc. Metrolist®, Inc. does not guarantee nor is it in any way responsible for its accuracy. Content maintained by Metrolist®, Inc. may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. I obviously didn’t sell all the homes listed here and this post was done to show trends in the area only.