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Hancock addresses Coldwell conference

Mayor Michael Hancock

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock presented the city’s strategic plan to deliver a “world-class city where everyone matters” during the recent third annual Colorado Real Estate & Economic Summit.

Sponsored by Coldwell Banker and Coldwell Banker Previews International, the  summit on March 8 at the at the PPA Convention and Event Center near Sports Authority Field at Mile High,  included a high-profile lineup of economic and real estate experts who provided mostly bullish overviews of the housing market locally and nationally in addition to economic projections for the future.

Hancock’s  one-year strategic economic development plan, called JumpStart 2012, outlines major steps the Denver Office of Economic Development will make to grow business development, lending and investment in the community, and talent development for a world-class workforce.

Hancock  noted that the economy is improving, with Denver adding 10,000 more jobs during the past year. He also emphasized that Denver is ranked as the No.1  most desirable place to live in the nation among major metropolitan areas, and that the metro area has the second best real estate market in the country. JumpStart 2012’s three primary focuses are the creation of more jobs, educating Denver’s youth so that no children get left behind, and markedly improving all city departments and agencies.

Paul Washington, executive director of the Denver Office of Economic Development, outlined areas of potential development for the city, including 16,000 acres of property at Denver International Airport where an “Aerotropolis” centered around the airport would allow businesses to develop in close proximity to DIA and benefit from the adjacency.

Other potential developments include 24 miles of river frontage along the South Platte River. Washington also detailed the mayor’s Net-Zero Energy concept where a community consumes as much energy as it produces. The vision entails creating a mixed-use development that takes this concept to a higher level by broadening the scope to include sustainability in water, waste, and integration of natural systems into the built environment. As earlier reported by InsideRealEstateNews, the net-zero development could be built in Lowry.

Chris Mygatt, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Colorado, presented statistics on the local and national real estate market. In the fourth quarter of 2011, the total number of properties sold in the metro area was up 2.8 percent and up 13.2 percent to date in 2012. The total number of inventory homes in the area was down 22.4 percent in 2011 from the previous year, and down 41.8 percent so far in 2012. Mygatt also provided an overview of metro Denver’s strong luxury home market. Homes that sold at $500,000 or more increased by 4.4 percent in 2011 over the prior year.

Mygatt noted that Denver remains a two-tiered market. He said for luxury homes, there are three houses for each buyer, while for homes priced under about $400,000, there are three buyers for every home on the market.

Mark Samuelson, an advertising real estate columnist and blogger for the Denver Post, noted that a number of builders have seen the market brighten substantially. Not only are builders selling more homes, but they are selling higher-priced homes. A number of builders anticipated selling lower-priced homes in a number of new subdivisions, including recently weak markets such as Castle Rock and Parker, and are increasingly finding that consumers want the larger and more expensive homes.

Other keynote speakers during the sold-out summit included: Michael Dirrane, executive vice president of corporate sales for PHH Mortgage;  Bryan Pierce, director of marketing and outreach for PEMCO, Ltd.; and Mark Snead, chief economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Denver branch.

Contact John Rebchook at JRCHOOK@gmail.com


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