The average Denver County home has yielded significantly higher returns on investment over the past decade when compared to the rest of the country, a new Business Journals analysis has found.

Our study tracked home values from the depths of the recession in August 2009 through August of this year, and applied a hypothetical scenario in which homebuyers entered the market with 10% downpayment. Under that scenario, the median return for thousands of ZIP codes across the U.S. equated to about 214% for buyers, with some 12,885 of those locations appreciating in value, with a median price change of 31%.

Homes in Denver County blew those numbers out of the water. Neighborhoods in the county with the best 10-year return on investment saw an ROI of 1,653%. The neighborhood with the lowest return out of 26 ZIP codes in the county still saw an ROI of 385%.


Denver’s top-performing ZIP code was 80239 — the Montbello neighborhood, which is adjacent to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge and just east of Stapleton. Of note, that neighborhood had the lowest median home value in 2009 of the 25 other ZIP codes in the county at $116,100. A decade later, that median home value jumped to $319,600.

Lowry Field had the highest median home value in 2009 at $472,900, but experienced the lowest return on investment over the next 10 years at 385%, which is still significantly higher than the national average. The median home value in Lowry today is $700,800.

Other top neighborhoods, in terms of return on investments, include Lincoln Park (1,598%), Athmar Park (1,519%), Mar Lee (1,512%) and Whittier (1,214%).

Colorado’s hot economy and high quality of life certainly helped lead to those returns, but, similar to California and Arizona, which also had a high amount of neighborhoods with returns that surpassed 1,000%, a surplus of housing inventory at the onset of the recession led to a flood of foreclosures and slashed home values.

Among 15,000 U.S. housing markets researched by The Business Journals, Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood ranked as only one of two locations — the other being Winton, California, to the east of San Francisco — to deliver a greater than 2,000% return on investment for the typical buyer over the past decade. That’s about 20 times what the median return has been during the same span for housing markets nationally.


Article By Andrew Dodson  – Reporter, Denver Business Journal