Which Came First: Greatness or Stability?

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Which Came First: Greatness or Stability?

There are many reasons to feel lucky to live in the metro Denver area and along the Front Range of Colorado—especially if you own real estate here. The region continues this month to hover at the top of two notable designations: places that are among the best in the nation to live, and places that are largely insulated from ongoing housing market distress.

It’s a classic chicken-and-egg scenario (but one that we can be glad to have): Is the metro Denver area a great place to own property because the housing market continues to perform well, or does housing here continue to outperform other markets because metro Denver is such a great place to live?

Either way, people are still buying real estate along the Front Range—Denver is number one of only nine markets in the US where homes are selling in two months or less—helping to keep the area comparatively stable. InsideRealEstateNews reported in May that Denver narrowly avoided a double dip in housing prices in March (unlike 12 of the other 19 carefully monitored metropolitan areas on the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index), and that the region has only declined about 14% in home sales off its August 2006 peak, making it the market with the second-lowest decline in home sales.

This month also saw the release of a study commissioned by the makers of Edge® Shave Gel: 50 Cities on the Edge of Greatness. Research conducted by Sperling’s BestPlaces examined five key areas of greatness—sports, art, music, culture, and cosmopolitan factors such as LEED certifications, job availability, cost of living and population growth—placed metro Denver (which includes Boulder) at number three, behind San Francisco and Boston. The study applauded the metro Denver area for its “heavy interest in alternative sports such as the X Games, snowboarding and skateboarding” and its” high percentage of young, well-educated residents and heavy focus on green building.” The report continues, “[Denver’s] art and music scenes are not to be underestimated, coming in the top 20 with potential to rise to the top in future studies.”

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