Metro Denver still in top cities for real estate appreciation

The newest Case-Shiller figures were released and as expected the year-over-year pace of home-resale price gains still led most others for percentage price gains. In real numbers, prices in April 2016 rose 9.5% from one year prior.  If you follow my blog you know 10% has been the average gain over the last few months when compared to one year prior.

Two cities surpassed Denver’s gain by small increments, Portland and Seattle. Of the 20 cities tracked the average gain year-over-year was 5.4%. What si more impressive and yet also possibly troubling is Denver is one of 7 cities with resale prices at an all-time high. The other cities are Dallas, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Charlotte and Boston.


As an active broker and in discussion with peers we have become a little bit concerned (and it may be a seasonal issue) of the following:

-Homes on the upper-end of the market i.e. above the FHA conventional loan amount (for Denver) of $458,850 seem to be lingering on the market for longer periods of time.

-We brokers are witnessing across the board price reductions in a few specific neighborhoods where inventory has increased exponentially versus true demand. Most of this inventory is oriented towards the luxury market.

-Potential over supply of deluxe and luxury rentals in hot neighborhoods including Cherry Creek and Downtown as well as select suburban communities which assumes the continued influx of residents proceeds unabated.

-Record low interest rates yet buyers still on the sidelines.

As a broker for 25+ years I have been though such cycles prior. We are in a goldilocks period of low inflation, low interest rates and increased supply. Yet there still seems to be a slow down in the upper segments of the market which may eventually trickle down to the larger overall market.

Metro Denver has a history of developing excess inventory during up-cycles. Coupled with the City and County of Denver desiring to increase density in established older neighborhoods there are concerns regarding quality-of-life, congestion and affordability.

With today’s news advising the Federal Reserve may begin to increase interest rates by year’s end we should see fence-sitters locking in historically low interest rates before the election. If interest rates do rise and buyers continue to sit on the side-lines we may have larger issues going into 2017.


A Mansion from Denver’s Bygone Era Enters the Market

With few exceptions mansions from Denver’s bygone era of the original Gold Coast i.e. south of the State Capitol have been razed or otherwise altered into office, apartments and other uses. For an intact mansion to come on the market in turnkey condition is quite rare. For the first time in 22 years, 1350 Logan Street AKA The Cuthbert-Dines-Starkey Mansion is entering the marketplace.

Only only its 3rd owner is offering the 12,000+ SF Mansion for sale since construction in 1901. Mrs. Mary Starkey has operated The Starkey International Institute for Household Management within the mansion since her purchase from one of the members of the Dines family. The Mansion in its current iteration can be considered one large, multi-level immersive classroom experience. As The Starkey International Institute for Household Management teaches and trains those in the deluxe and luxury household and hospitality service sector, the Mansion has offered the perfect “hands-on” learning tool.

During Mrs. Starkey’s stewardship of the mansion she has not only respected and enhanced the historical elements of this rare building, she has also incorporated today’s technology concerning comfort and communication while staying true to the mansion’s design. Such upgrades include a central air-conditioning system similar to the design used in the Colorado Governor’s Mansion. The mansion’s 3rd floor once used as bedrooms for household staff is now offices including a server and high-speed communication used by The Starkey International Institute for Household Management.

The stately exterior remains true to its design; the interior offers formal proportions yet at the same time a sense of intimacy. The first level includes a traditional entry foyer, a formal living room, library, dining room (all three with fireplaces), a sunroom, a butler’s pantry, and a chef’s kitchen with breakfast eating area and caretakers office.

The 2nd level of the Mansion encompasses 5+ bedrooms including 4 en-suite baths and wood-burning fireplaces, two with attached summer sleeping rooms and all with expansive walk-in closets.

The top level once housed bedrooms for the household staff. At present those rooms have been converted to office use. Can easily be reconfigured to be bedrooms again and there are two additional bathrooms on this level.

The lowest level includes the former billiards room including the copper mantled fireplace, an additional family room (both now used as classrooms), a temperature and humidity controlled wine cellar, a commercial laundry room and various storage and mechanical rooms. There is a 3-car garage and auto court with additional parking. The rear and side yards are professionally landscaped and secured offering privacy and serenity within the heart of the city.

The marketing of the mansion is a unique proposition for the two brokers, Joseph Sobin of Engel and Volkers Vail and Jeffrey Hirschfeld of Antonoff & Co. Brokerage Inc. Joseph is handling the residential side, Jeffrey the commercial side. The mansion has an attractive C-MX-8 zoning.

From a residential perspective, few mansions of this caliber and condition exist within the city center of Denver. The location is attractive to those who may desire a mansion from the bygone era coupled with a city-centric location allowing an easy walk to the Capitol, the CBD, Broadway corridor and Capitol Hill. With the emergence of the CBD being a viable and desirable area for residences, the mansion offers the opportunity to own a 12,000+ SF residence few can compare.

On the commercial side many opportunities exist from corporate headquarters to office use to NGO’s and potential for consulate/embassy. In addition because of its design can easily be a live/work building with the public rooms on the 1st and lower levels and private residential space on 2nd and 3rd floors.

The mansion has a Denver Landmarks designation, the rear and side yards offers additional redevelopment opportunities which can leave the mansion alone or incorporate including potential for a new rental/condo building adjacent to or attached to the mansion coupled with below-grade parking.

The listing can be viewed at, MLS #3063126

Full disclosure, I am one of the brokers of record on the Mansion.