Jump in metro Denver home prices hits all-time high; rents continue to rise

House prices in Denver continued their hot streak in July, hitting an all-time high for year-over-year gains, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index reported Tuesday.

Denver’s home price index increase of 21.3% made it one of seven U.S. cities to record their highest-ever 12-month gains. The other cities were New York, Boston, Charlotte, Cleveland, Dallas and Seattle, according to the index.

Overall, the West was sizzling. Phoenix, San Diego, and Seattle had the highest year-over-year gains among 20 cities. Phoenix led with 32.4%; San Diego was second with 27.8%; and Seattle was third at 25.5%.

“July 2021 is the fourth consecutive month in which the growth rate of housing prices set a record,” Craig J. Lazzara, managing director and global head of index investment strategy at S&P DJI, said in a statement.

The national price increase of 19.7% from July 2020 was the highest annual gain in more than 30 years, Lazzara said. It also marked the 14th consecutive month of accelerating prices.

In Denver, house prices rose 1.8% from June to July. The seasonally adjusted monthly gain in the national index was 1.5%.

“We have previously suggested that the strength in the U.S. housing market is being driven in part by a reaction to the COVID pandemic, as potential buyers move from urban apartments to suburban homes. July’s data are consistent with this hypothesis,” Lazzara said.

On the rental side of housing, the trend remains on an upward trajectory, too. Rents rose 2.7% in Denver from August to September, according to a monthly survey by Apartment List, an online marketplace. Rents jumped 16.5% from the same period a year ago.

The median rent in Denver is $1,501 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,839 for a two-bedroom unit, compared to the national average of $1,275. September was the eighth-straight month that rents went up after a decline in January.

Statewide, rents were 17.2% higher than in September 2020, Apartment List said. Rents have increased across the metro area. The fastest growth has been in Parker, where rents rose 22.1% from the previous year.

The metro-area city with the most expensive rents is Lone Tree. The median rent for a two-bedroom residence there is $2,482. Arvada has the lowest median rent in the metro area at $1,653 for two bedrooms.

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