BOULDER – The Boulder and Denver metro areas, along with much of Colorado, seem to be in a perfect storm.
As job growth and housing inventory and price reports roll in month after month, the picture is clear: job and economic growth are strong, housing inventory remains low and housing prices keep rising.
In the jobs arena, Colorado continues to be a high-tech employment center, according to the “CyberStates” report published by CompTIA. Colorado added 3,088 high-tech jobs to total more than 187,000 tech workers in 2015, the report said.
High tech salaries came along with those tech industry jobs. Average annual wages of a Colorado tech worker topped $106,000 in 2015, an increase of 4.4 percent over 2014 and nearly double the average private sector salary of $53,400 during the same period. Compared to the rest of the nation, Colorado ranks No. 9 for the average salary for technology occupations.
The high-tech salaries contributed $19.9 billion to the state’s economy – an increase of $900 million over 2014. The nearly $20 billion totals 18.4 percent of the state’s overall payroll, which is the fifth highest overall percentage nationwide.
And job growth is not limited to the high-tech industry. Across all sectors, Colorado is home to four of the top cities for job growth in the U.S., reports Forbes 2015 Best Places for Business and Career. Greeley leads the nation, with Denver landing at 16, and Fort Collins and Boulder at
21 and 26, respectively.
In a broader study that analyzed 21 indicators across the top 10 metropolitan statistical areas (MSA), the state’s metro areas still showed strong. Denver ranked No. 1, Greeley No. 3 and Boulder No. 9 as leading locations nationwide in 2015, according to “Area Development,” a national publication on site selection and facility planning.
Meanwhile, Denver is plagued by being the No. 9 U.S. city most plagued by shrinking inventory, according to RealtyTrac’s first-quarter 2015 Residential Property Vacancy Analysis. In price appreciation, Denver is ranked No. 1.
The challenge is too few vacant homes, according to data analyzed in the RealtyTrac report, which looked at 147 metro areas with at least 100,000 residential properties.
Of the 10 cities that had the fewest number of vacancies in the first three months of 2015, Fort Collins was No. 2 with 0.2 percent and Denver No. 9 with 0.5 percent.
“I think the Denver ranking reflects other parts of the metro area as well,” said Ken Hotard, vice president of public affairs for the Boulder Area Realtor® Association, noting that inventory and price are “two really strong indicators of the type of market the Boulder area has been dealing with for the past several years.”
The city of Boulder’s average sales price topped $1 million and the median sales price exceeded $975,000 in January 2016, according to statistics published by the Boulder Area Realtors Association.
In rental units, Boulder once again had the highest apartment rental rates in Colorado, according to the March 2016 Colorado Apartment List Rent Report. Median rent is reported to be $1,850 for a two-bedroom unit in Boulder, a 3.3 percent increase since last year.
Westminster’s year-over-year growth was even higher at 11.6 percent growth – the highest of any city in the state. The going median rent for a two-bedroom in Westminster – $1,470. Longmont is up 8.8 percent to $1,150; Broomfield up 5.9 percent to $1,610; Fort Collins up 4.5 percent to $1,380; Denver up 4.8 percent to $1,750.
For the full reports, visit: www.smartbrief.com/s/2015/02/comptia-releases-cyberstates-2015-showing-state-state-it-employment-trends, www.areadevelopment.com/Leading-Locations/Q2-2015/Leading-Metro-Locations-Full-Results-4433916.shtml, realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2016/02/16/cities-plagued-shrinking-inventory