Ever since the housing crisis in 2008, homeowners and banks alike have been interested in finding the best cities for purchasing homes. A recent report found that Denver, Colorado is among “the most challenging” cities in the United States for first-time homebuyers.
Out of a list of 100 cities nationwide, Denver was ranked number one by Lending Tree, a home mortgage company. Surprisingly, Denver was able to outrank some of the largest cities in the country, such as Las Vegas, New York, San Francisco, and Austin.
Lending Tree, the mortgage company behind the report, compiled a host of relevant data in order to reach this list. Some of the criteria included the percentage of homebuyers with less than prime credit (lower than 680), percentage of the average down payment and the amount of homes sold that the family with median income can afford (according to the Housing Opportunity Index). The report also took into account relevant information from the Federal Housing Administration such as the share of buyers using this type of mortgage and the average down payment set as an average for all loans.
In the report, Lending Tree mentioned that “Denver is not the most challenging city in any single measure, having weak showings across the board, which could be (an) obstacle for first-time buyers. Down payments are high at $66,806, and even the FHA down payment is a considerable $22,841”. In the same report, Lending Tree ranked Little Rock, Arkansas as the best city for first time homebuyers.
To make matters worse, Denver was recently ranked in the number one spot in the nation (along with Seattle and San Francisco) for the least months supply of housing inventory at 1.1 months. In other words, Denver not only has high down payments, but the amount of homes up for sale is low as well. The Denver Metro Association of Realtors revealed that January was a record-low month with only 3,869 available listings for sale.
Denver saw a record temperature today. On November 27th, there was an 81 degree temperature in Denver. The last record for the 27th of the November was in 1950, and this year was seven degrees higher. However, it also broke the record for the highest temperature in November in general in Denver.
The funniest part about all this is that although Monday was really hot, and people were spending time outside as if it were in the middle of the summer, the temperature is expected to plummet Monday night. In fact, it is expected to be in the 30s, and even more than that, there is a forecast of snow.
A cold front has been spreading in areas around Colorado. Snow has been falling in the surrounding states, such as Utah and Wyoming. This means that people will have to quickly change their clothing and don coats and thermal underwear. This new heat wave and above normal temperature was started on Thanksgiving, when the temperature was 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
Snow is not expected to accumulate in Denver. However, in the mountains, 2 to 4 inches of snow is expected. In Denver itself, there will first be rain, but it will snow after midnight. As for the rest of the week, temperatures are expected to be around normal. After the rain and snow, the rest of the week will be dry and the temperatures are expected to be in the upper forties and lower to mid fifties. That is the normal temperature range for this time of the year in Denver. However, so far this month, temperatures in Denver have been around 6 to 7 degrees higher than normal.
The rapid growth of population in Denver is having far reaching consequences on the shared resources within the city. For instance, the most notable feature is that there is a decrease of open space per resident that used to be there before. Homeowners within the city say that it is increasingly becoming difficult to find a free area where one can walk between buildings. Homeowners nowadays do not even take time to plant grass in front of their houses as it’s a waste of time and resources due to limited space. Compared to other regions in the area such as Aurora and Colorado Springs, the open space has reduced by a third and double respectively. This is according to a report that was released by Trust for Public Land in Denver. This is a body in Denver that promotes natural land preservation within the area.
A report by the same body has revealed that greenway spaces and parks in Denver have reduced by a ratio of 9.3 acres to 1000 residents. Compared to the national median, this is far below the recommended value as the national media recommends 13.1 acres for a 1000 people. Remember that this is for the most populated cities in the United States. This is also shocking and disturbing for Denver residents as other cities in the country have recorded a significant growth in open space per resident. The growth in other cities is estimated at a 1.5 percent growth. As for Denver, the same has shrunk by 5 percent.
This unprecedented growth comes as a challenge for many urban planners. It has shown that these officials are sleeping at their most important job of keeping up with the growing population. However, some people see this an opportunity to increase tax revenues and important for economic vitality.