People have been migrating to Colorado in droves over the past few years. In 2020, Denver was among the top five fastest-growing U.S. cities. And according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Colorado gained over 50,000 new residents between July 2019 and July 2020.
What’s so special about Colorado?
A better question may be — what isn’t special about Colorado? The state has so many incredible job opportunities, neighborhoods, and of course, a perfect climate for anyone moving from out-of-state.
The state averages about 300 sunny days per year. All 300 days are much needed. And Colorado provides its residents — and tourists — with an abundance of outdoor recreation and nature activities.
Some other factors that make Colorado living attractive to people considering a move out West are:
- Colorado’s robust health and wellness lifestyle produces the lowest obesity levels in the United States.
- The vibrant arts and culture scene provides Coloradans with access to museums, concerts, plays, galleries, and art festivals throughout Colorado.
- Colorado’s professional sports teams like the Denver Broncos and Denver Nuggets give sports enthusiasts something to get excited about on home turf. Catching a Broncos’ game in person seems to be a rite of passage for new Coloradans.
- The city offers plenty of creative industries to both enjoy and work in.
- Denver offers a vibrant city nightlife to enjoy at the end of the day.
- Colorado’s craft beer industry is vibrant and diverse. The Great American Beer Festival is hosted annually in Denver and is a great place to discover new favorites from all over the states.
- The great outdoors is perhaps the state’s most notable draw for tourists and migrants. The state offers many recreational outlets for skilled, novice, or beginner athletes from skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, bouldering, fishing, mountain biking, or any other outdoor sport you can think of.
- Popular activities like hiking, camping, fishing, horseback riding, birdwatching, or wildlife photography, are just a few of the hobbies or activities that native and migrant Coloradans can enjoy.
Best places in Colorado
If you are looking to move to Colorful Colorado yet don’t know where to start looking, we can provide you with a list of five of the best places to begin your search. This list will give you a broad overview of some of the most popular and convenient locations that might just be the perfect fit for you.
Racially and economically diverse Aurora is the third-largest city in Colorado and is experiencing growth at an annual rate of 1.21%. A rise in gentrification and a plethora of new housing developments around Aurora are direct byproducts of their continued expansion.
Aurora’s homeownership rate is currently around 59.9% of the city population, which is slightly higher than those renting. However, as the population has grown, so has demand for homes on the market. This demand has steadily driven up the price of homes for sale in the past few years.
- Population: 393,440 (according to 2020 Census Reports)
- Median home price: $489,489
Well-known for its hippie culture and home to the University of Colorado, Boulder is situated at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and is within 35 minutes’ driving distance to Denver. While seeing considerable growth since 2010, Boulder’s population is currently in an annual decline of 0.32%.
The current decline could be due partly to rising housing costs and the fact that it is a college town with a primarily younger population. With almost 90% of Boulder’s residents predominately white and affluent, there is currently not much diversity to report. Although lacking in diversity, Boulder boasts excellent schools, is known for its large biking community, low obesity rates, and high quality of life.
- Population: 104,668 (according to the World Population Review)
- Median home price: $700,000
With its quaint, historic downtown and easy access to trails and local parks, Castle Rock has a small-town feel for those looking to avoid cramped city spaces. Castle Rock is considered by many to be a great place to put down roots or start a family. However, with over 91% of the town’s population consisting of affluent white individuals, this area is not diverse yet, with most cultural diversity clustered around Colorado’s cities and metro areas.
The town has a high rate of homeownership, with around 77% of the population being homeowners. However, the cost of homes in Castle Rock has been on an upward climb since 2013. In addition, the cost of housing spiked by 27.4% between 2021 and 2022. The rise in the price of homes has coincided with the growth in the population, increasing by 63% since 2010.
- Population: 78,936 (according to the World Population Review)
- Median home price: $685,569
Colorado Springs is home to famous landmarks like the Garden of the Gods. This populous city offers unique geological features, impressive rock formations,and plenty of trails to hike and bike. In addition, the town is situated at the base of the well-known Pike’s Peak.
Colorado Springs is the second-largest Colorado city with a population growth of 1.15% annually. It has been growing since the 1960s due to the steady flow of military personnel to one of Colorado Springs’ five military institutions and bases.The military community brings more diversity to the area with the U.S. Airforce Academy, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Stations, Fort Carson Army Post, Schriever Air Force Base, and Peterson Air Force Base within Colorado Springs.
While the demand for housing inventory continues to grow, homes available to sell have dropped by 22% over the last year, which explains why the cost of housing has climbed considerably in Colorado Springs and why it is unlikely to go down anytime soon.
- Population: 495,183 (according to the World Population Review)
- Median home price: $461,668
Colorado’s capital, Denver, is also the state’s largest city. The entire state has been growing, with Denver in particular leading the trend as the fastest growing city in the state. Denver had seen a steep rise in population since 2010 when the Great Denver Migration first took off.
The bustling city is home to cultural, racial, and economic diversity, which has provided the city with a wide variety of entertainment, restaurants, and shops. In addition, Denver is conveniently situated a mere hour and a half drive from the Rocky Mountain National Park. As a result, the Mile High City is an excellent blend of individuals who come to Denver seeking both urban comfort and proximity to the rugged outdoors.
- Population: 705,576 (according to the World Population Review)
- Median home price: $599,742
Most affordable places in Colorado to live
We would be remiss not to provide a list of some of the more affordable Colorado towns to also consider in your search. While Colorado is an expensive state to live in, there are plenty of opportunities to save money on housing while remaining close enough to the city for commuters.
A mere 20 minutes outside of Denver, Federal Heights is located near Thornton and close to interstate 25. This Denver suburb is more affordable while being within a convenient commuting distance from the city.
- Population: 14,382
- Median home price: $400,000
Under an hour away from Denver, Milliken offers a small-town feel with access to trails and its historic downtown. The town, while still small, has grown from 5,610 in 2010 to its current population of just under 10,000.
- Population: 9,661
- Median home price: $444,991
- Situated near the South Platte River, Fort Lupton is a mere 38-minute drive to Denver and 30 minutes away from the Denver International Airport. This small town with a population under 10,000 has seen home values go up by almost 20% in the last year but remains one of Colorado’s more affordable places to find a home.
- Population: 8,133
- Median home price: $464,765
Brush is one hour and twenty-four minutes drive away from Denver. And yet, while being a bit farther away from the metro area, Brush stands out as an excellent and affordable place to live in Colorado. This agricultural town has experienced quite a bit of growth since 2010. Thankfully they’ve managed to keep housing costs low compared to the rest of the state.
- Population: 5,395
- Median home price: $256,066
Migration to Colorado has begun slowing down. Colorado went from one of the top moving destinations to recently experiencing a significant population decline in one year.
According to 9News, “In 2020, 27,337 people moved to the state, and in 2021, data shows that number dropped even further to 14,731. That’s compared to 68,844 people who moved here in 2015.” This drop is considerable, indicating the beginning of a steady and prolonged decrease in population growth over the next few years.
This population slowdown is in part due to the ever-increasing cost of living. Colorado is among the ten most expensive states to live in, with housing being 34% more expensive than other states. If the slowdown continues, the housing market will most likely need to adjust by lowering prices to remain attractive to outsiders and Colorado natives.
We most likely won’t see a dip in home prices for a while yet, though. This is because demand continues to outpace the supply of homes. Therefore, paying top dollar will continue to be part and parcel of the Colorado housing market for the foreseeable future.
American Home Agents
For the latest data and trends, why not reach out to one of our agents to learn about your options. Whether you are a first or second-time home buyer, our American Home Agents can give you an even more in-depth picture. They’ll provide you with descriptions of what to consider when moving to or around in the state of Colorado.
Our agents are local experts on the Colorado housing market, and they’d love to share their wealth of knowledge with you! So reach out to us with any questions. We can help you make the right decision for you, your family, and your budget.