Denver is a great city! It’s a fantastic place to own property, although as of this writing (August 2015) it’s certainly not the easiest place to get started in real estate. Prices are high, rents are high… (fill in your own marijuana legalization joke here…)
Because the prices have bounced back so quickly, a few people have started asking if the Denver market is approaching another bubble. No one has a crystal ball, of course, but just about everyone who studies these things says no. For one thing, the lax lending standards that preceded the last crash have been tightened considerably. Just ask anyone who has applied for a loan in the last few years! Also, there was almost no new home construction during the crash. Now people are moving here in droves (one number I heard was 50,000 people a year) so the demand is outstripping the supply. It will take several years before that starts to balance out, simply because you can only build so many homes so fast.
So what’s an investor to do? There is always the option of investing in a different market. That CAN be profitable, but it is fraught with issues. I’ll be writing some blog posts about that, and am happy to discuss the pros and cons as they relate to your situation. I am investing in Columbus Ohio right now. I think it was the right move at the right time for me, but it’s a complicated decision with no one-size-fits-all answers.
There are definitely still deals to be found in the Denver market. It’s a matter of knowing which way the growth is headed, where the public infrastructure developments are happening, and which areas have a good price/rent ratios and the best appreciation potential. You’re probably not not going to find a runaway deal, but you can find a decent deal.