Petula Clark is a singer well-known for crooning about people and the allure of downtown. Things will be great. No finer place. Everything’s waiting for you.
The clarion call has appealed to Denver residents enjoying the hustle and bustle of neon lights and traffic in the city. Yet, the once fairly exclusive territory of millennials occupying metro-area rental property is now shifting in its demographic. A growing number of well-to-do Baby Boomers are choosing more urban surroundings with movie shows and places to go close by.
The Growth of the Rich Renting in Downtown Denver
Renters in urban areas are commonly looked upon as lower-income individuals. Many are recent college graduates in entry-level jobs with burdensome student loan debt that undermines their ability to save up for a down payment. Both have limited, if any options in purchasing a home. While many hope to make enough money over time to buy their own home, paying a landlord for now is their only path to having a roof over their head.
Metro Denver is bucking the trend with a surge in renters of considerable wealth. According to Apartment List, the city is leading the pack of major metropolitan areas occupied by home and condo renters making $100,000 or more. From 2008 to 2017, the number skyrocketed by 146 percent. During that same time, the national average was 48 percent.
They may have more than enough means to buy a home. Yet, they choose to rent. For some boomers, the luxury of someone else taking on home upkeep and lawn maintenance is attractive, especially as they get older. Others are financially secure with significant equity gains that literally pay the rent for an extended period.
A Lack of Options Turning Buyers into Renters
Renters also have a wealth of options to choose from. The 2008 crash in the real estate market saw Denver investors purchasing homes and repurposing them for rental. A lack of new residential property to purchase has forced wannabe buyers into renters of both apartments and houses.
Developers have responded to the higher supply of rental properties by offering unique amenities to attract prospective tenants. Metro Denver is experiencing a boom in the noise and the hurry that comes with living downtown.