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Feels like it’s getting more expensive to live in Denver? Data confirms

  • ​Since shortly after the Great Recession, it’s been relatively simple to recite a lengthy list describing Denver’s strengths and upsides: significant presence of growing, knowledge-based sectors; high employment diversity with diminishing economic volatility; robust in-migration as part of booming population growth. But, an increasingly common refrain is emerging when asking people and businesses, “what worries you about the metro?” More and more, one of the first replies is “the rising cost of living.” 
  • Put simply, it’s becoming increasingly expensive to live in the Mile High City. It’s certainly pricier than the U.S. average, and it falls within the nation’s 20 most expensive metros in which to live. Looking at Consumer Price Index data, the price for “all items” climbed 3.1 percent from the first half of 2016 to the middle of this year. This was the largest annual increase since 2011, and it was mainly driven by a rebound in energy and housing costs.​
  • The chart above shows the change in pricing for select goods and services throughout the past decade. Note the steep climb in housing (no surprise), and keep in mind what’s not shown above: medical care—the price of which has leaped 14.0 percent these past five years.
  • In-place residents, businesses, folks considering a move to Denver . . . everyone’s paying keen attention to the rate of price growth and inflation here. While we’re still measurably less expensive than our coastal counterparts, the warning bells are already sounding.​

Source: JLL Research, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics​

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