Home prices have shot up by double-digits, inventory has fallen dramatically and multiple offers with bidding wars have become common.
One factor driving the demand: pot. The budding industry has impacted home prices since the state legalized marijuana in 2012.
“There has been a huge bump in real estate prices due to the legalization of marijuana,” according to James Paine, managing partner at West Realty Advisors. “It’s massively pushed up raw land and industry prices.”
In March, Denver experienced the second-largest jump in annual home prices at 10%, just behind San Francisco, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index.
While the legalization of marijuana isn’t the only thing driving the market, it has contributed to job growth in the area that has people flocking to Denver.
“The pot industry is creating jobs we didn’t have before,” said Kelly Moye, a Re/Max real estate agent who has worked in the Denver area for 24 years. “It’s brand new, it adds a whole new factor to the area; you have real estate needs, housing needs, job needs.”
The industry has created jobs beyond growers and dispensaries. Legal marijuana has also been a boon for existing businesses like security and HVAC companies who service the new “green” businesses. “Electricians have grown from mom and pops to big-time electric companies,” said J.P. Speers, an agent at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services.
Denver and its surrounding areas have also become a hot spot for the tech industry, adding to the job rush.
“It’s fairly affordable, at least for now,” said Moye. “The quality of life is great and employers are bringing their employees here.”