Denver home prices have shot up by double-digits, inventory has decreased drastically, and bidding wars with multiple offers have become commonplace among home buyers.
One major factor driving the housing demand: legalized marijuana. The legalization of marijuana has impacted home prices since the Colorado legalized marijuana in 2012.
“There has been a huge bump in real estate prices due to the legalization of marijuana” and it has “massively pushed up raw land and industry prices,” according to a Denver-based realtor.
Denver experienced the second-largest jump in annual home prices at 10%, in March, just trailing San Francisco, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index.
The legalization of marijuana isn’t the only force driving the housing market, but it has certainly contributed to job growth in the area which has got people flocking to Denver.
“The pot industry is creating jobs we didn’t have before,” said a Re/Max real estate agent working 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, manufacturing and HVAC companies. “Electricians have grown from mom and pops to big-time electric companies,” said an agent at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services.
Inventory has become scarce in Denver. Typically, Denver has around 24,000 listings, but now that figure is closer to about 4,000.