Size Matters: How the size of a house you can buy in Denver has decreased by 18% since 2012

Posted by Greg Eckler on Wednesday, June 8th, 2016 at 10:00am.

Have you noticed all the news in Denver talking about the housing market and how great it is?  I’m asked about it all the time, but my typical answer depends on my audience.  In 2016, the market is great if you are a seller. But what about being a buyer?  Not so much—bidding wars, appreciation, and supply vs demand are all working against buyers to make this market anything but great.

Instead of looking at numbers on appreciation or supporting the “great” seller’s market, I decided to look at the numbers from a buyers point of view. 

Below shows the breakdown of the average finished sq. ft. (livable space above ground and in the basement) in 2012 compared with year to date 2016.  On average, given the same price range, the house you can buy now is 18% smaller than what you could buy in 2012.  So if you weren’t ready to buy in 2012 and your income hasn’t increased, the home you are shopping for today could be much smaller than expected. 

Does this mean you sacrifice something else?  Do you buy outside of Denver where prices are lower?  Do you buy a home that isn’t smaller but needs work?  What about an attached home?

Just a few pieces of the puzzle and a different perspective for buyers to consider.

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