Boulder is known for its highly educated, technology-oriented citizenry. The city is even ranked No. 1 nationally in the “Bloomberg Brain Concentration Index,” which tracks business formation as well as employment and education in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
But does that make Boulder a smart city? Not according to Colorado Smart Cities Alliance (CSCA). CSCA might summarize a smart city as an environment that works well for the people who live in it.
Specifically, CSCA defines a smart city “as an environment that enables all of us to effectively and efficiently live, work, and play. It leverages advancements in science and technology to create an area that is intelligent about strategic and tactical needs and wants of all the constituents.”
Boulder, Longmont, and Fort Collins are among a dozen cities along the Front Range that are founding members of the CSCA. Founded in 2017 by the Denver South Economic Development, CSCA is an open, collaborative, and active platform where stakeholders work to collaborate on continually improving the region’s economic foundations for future generations. The initiative aims to make Colorado a leader in the development of intelligent infrastructure. The goal is to accelerate the development of statewide Smart City initiatives that will improve our play, family, and work lives, from transportation and housing to public safety and the environment.
In ColoradoBiz Magazine, DesignThinkingDenver’s CEO Joe Hark Harold says, smart cities could design systems that save water and energy, reduce traffic and traffic congestion, lessen crime, better prepare for disasters, provide better connections between business and customers, and even manage the lights remotely.
There is urgency behind this movement, driven by an increase of those who live in urban environments. More than three million additional people are expected to move to Colorado by 2050 — an increase of more than 50 percent from 2015, according to the Colorado State Demography Office. Coupled with the growth the state has already experienced, the projected increase has spurred community leaders to collaborate on finding innovative, cost-effective ways to better monitor, manage, and improve infrastructure and public services.
“The Colorado Smart Cities Alliance is advancing policies and technologies that will better equip Colorado residents to live, work, and play in a future that is increasingly being shaped by the complex challenges of urban growth,” says Jake Rishavy, vice president of innovation at the Denver South Economic Development Partnership. “We’re working to create a 21st-century technology infrastructure right here in Colorado that will help to enhance everyone’s quality of life, particularly as our communities continue to grow.”
Among its activities, CSCA hosts regular “Civic Labs” events around the state to share challenges, expertise and solutions. At the Denver Smart City Forum in June, speakers described “smart” technology as having to be about the people who use it and benefit from it, that is, human-centered design and thinking.
“People, not technology, will create smart cities,” said Colorado’s Chief Innovation Officer Erik Mitisek.
To find out more and get involved in the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance, visit http://coloradosmart.city/
For more about the recent forum and DesignThinkingDenver, read http://www.cobizmag.com/Trends/Smart-Cities-Arent/ and http://www.cobizmag.com/Trends/Denver-Digs-Deep-on-Smart-City-Development-and-Implementation/
Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Wednesday, September 26th, 2018 at 11:31am.
Home sales in Boulder-area single-family and attached housing markets rose in August along with the late summer heat index.
Single-family home sales increased 10 percent in August 2018 compared to July with 460 homes sold in Boulder-area markets vs. 418. Sales for condominiums and townhomes climbed 15 percent with 146 units sold vs. 127.
Meanwhile, Denver-metro home sales went in the opposite direction, slowing significantly over the same period, according to the Denver Post.
It’s testament to the state of Boulder Valley real estate market, according to Ken Hotard, senior vice president of public affairs for the Boulder Area Realtor® Association.
“We have our own little market here. While Denver dipped, Boulder Valley showed strong growth in sales, despite ongoing rising prices and inventory squeeze,” says Hotard.
Year-to-date sales also continue to climb steadily. Single-family home sales grew 1.7 percent through August 2018 compared to last year – 3,154 homes sold vs. 3,100. Attached homes followed a similar track, improving 1.6 percent year-to-date – 1,154 sold in 2018 compared with 1,135 in 2017.
Inventory dropped 2.0 percent for single-family homes – 993 units in August 2018 vs. July’s 1,013. But condo/townhomes available for sale grew 11.2 percent with 268 units available in August vs. 241 the previous month.
Hotard attributes the unceasing increase in real estate sales and prices to the area’s strong economy and continued job growth, along with a desirable quality of life. “Significant companies are hiring in Boulder, like Zayo, Google, Twitter – and the natural foods industry is strong,” he adds.
Interest rates are slowly pushing upward, which traditionally results in a slowdown in rising home prices and sales. But Boulder Valley’s housing market may not readily respond to interest rate increases.
“It’s unknown what the tipping point is for interest rates affecting our housing market. And with 35 percent of Boulder County homes bought with cash, rising interest rates may not have a significant effect locally,” says Hotard.
Looking ahead to the final quarter of the year, Hotard expects sales to continue to match those of last year, unless “something unusual happens.”
“We seem to be operating on an upward trend and it’s hard to see what would stop it. The real challenge for Boulder County is providing the housing and transportation infrastructure to support job growth.”
Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018 at 10:46am.
Boulder stands tall when compared with much larger metropolitan areas that excel in innovation and entrepreneurship.
A report produced by the Boulder Economic Council compares Boulder with leading innovation centers including Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Austin, Boston, Seattle, Portland, Denver and Raleigh. Though these metropolitan areas have a much larger population than Boulder, they were selected as peer communities following input from local focus groups and ranking reviews published by Inc., Forbes, and others.
To get a meaningful comparison, data was normalized for population size and other measures in analysis by CU-Boulder’s Leeds School of Business Research Division.
And the news is good, according to findings published in the Boulder Innovation Venture Report. Boulder compares favorably in key success metrics from education and jobs to quality of life. The area is challenged, however, by a lack of affordable housing to supply its workforce with a place to live.
The Boulder metro area ranks first among the peer communities for the percentage of population 25 and up who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. Over 60 percent of residents have a bachelor’s degree, which is among the highest in the United States.
In the jobs ranking, the City of Boulder has about 100,000 jobs, a number two or three times larger than almost any other U.S. city comparable in population size. Among those jobs, Boulder has the second highest concentration of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) occupations among all the peer regions.
Boulder has the second-highest per capita venture capital investment in comparison to the peer communities.
In fact, Boulder is ranked number one nationally in the “Bloomberg Brain Concentration Index,” which tracks business formation as well as employment and education in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Drilling down into the creative services industry – advertising agencies and web and app developers – outdoor recreation and food manufacturing, Boulder’s concentration of local businesses was significantly higher than peer communities.
Even in coffee shops the Boulder area percolates, achieving a tie with the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metro for the highest concentration of coffee shops among peer communities. Boulder outranked all the peer cities on restaurants per 1,000 residents.
While any amount of time stuck in traffic is too much, Boulder drivers spend less than all but one of the peer communities with 10 percent of total driving time in congestion. Boston drivers spend the most time driving in congestion.
The challenge for Boulder is housing affordability, according to the report. Measured by median metro area home values, Boulder has the third highest housing costs among its peer communities, behind the San Jose and San Francisco regions and just ahead of Seattle and Boston. But the city is not alone – its peer communities face the same challenge. All but one of the metro areas studied for this report ranked among the 25 most expensive housing markets in the U.S.
For the full Boulder Innovation Venture Report, visit: http://issuu.com/boulderchamber/docs/innovation_venture_report_v26?e=33607933/61913820
Nine Colorado cities rank in the top 50 best cities for first-time home buyers, according to recent analysis by WalletHub, a personal finance website. Four of those made the top 20 – Centennial, Thornton, Arvada and Greeley, coming in at Nos. 3, 6, 17, and 20, respectively.
With home prices rising in Colorado and across the nation, buying a first home is challenging. Potential buyers need to develop a realistic perspective on market prices, their financing options, and neighborhoods that have a good reputation and appeal to their lifestyle.
To help potential buyers target possible locations, WalletHub compared 300 cities of varying sizes across 27 key indicators of market attractiveness, affordability, and quality of life. Data includes important factors like cost of living, real-estate taxes, and property-crime rate.
Here are the rankings of the Colorado cities reported:
25. Fort Collins
27. Colorado Springs
Among those cities, Colorado Springs has the fourth-lowest real estate tax rate in the nation.
First-time home buyers are often in the millennial generation. As it turns out, Colorado is the ninth-best state for millennials, according to a separate WalletHub report.
Millennials – those born between 1981 and 1997 – make up over 35% of the workforce. While often thought of as “kids,” the oldest are 37 years old.
In addition to a total score of 9, Colorado ranks high for quality of life (7), economic health (3) and civic engagement (10). No. 1 ranked District of Columbia also ranked first in the nation for quality of life and civic engagement.
Colorado was evaluated along with all 50 states and the District of Columbia across 30 key metrics, ranging from share of millennials to millennial unemployment rate to millennial voter-turnout rate.
Here’s a look at the top 10 states for millennials:
For more information, see the full reports at https://wallethub.com/edu/best-and-worst-cities-for-first-time-home-buyers/5564/#methodology and https://wallethub.com/edu/best-states-for-millennials/33371/ .
Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Friday, August 24th, 2018 at 10:36am.
More highly skilled workers are moving to Denver than any other U.S. city, according to a new study by JLL Research.
The number of 25-year-olds and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher increased in Denver by 22.5 percent from 2012-2016, leading the nation’s growth rate for that demographic, reports JLL based on analysis of U.S. Census Bureau estimates.
Among cities ranked, Denver took No. 1 followed by Washington, D.C. at 19.9 percent; Philadelphia, 19.7 percent; Boston, 19.1 percent; Portland, 18.4 percent; and Fort Worth, 17.9 percent.
Here’s a look at the top 10 cities for worker growth rate in that demographic:
Cities emerged as the residential location of choice, JLL Research says but “not all cities were created equal in their ability to attract talent.”
Denver led the pack bolstered by high wages and low unemployment. Even with the influx of workers, Colorado’s unemployment rate is at a historic low, clocking in at 3 percent, according to Colorado Department of Labor and Statistics March 2018 data.
In 2017, our state boasted the lowest unemployment in the nation at 2.3 percent, which is the lowest the state has seen since data were recorded in 1976, reports the CU Leeds Business Research Division at CU-Boulder.
CU Leeds School reports cities across the state with the lowest unemployment rates:
– Fort Collins-Loveland, 2.1 percent
– Boulder, 2.3 percent
– Greeley, 2.5 percent
– Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, 2.5 percent
Unemployment in the U.S. is 4.1 percent, with unemployment for those holding a bachelor’s degree or higher is roughly 2.1 percent nationwide.
“In a full employment economy, talent becomes increasingly difficult to attract as competition for available workers increases. As a function of demand for talent outstripping supply, wages naturally rise as employers offer higher compensation to compete,” reports JLL Research.
See the full list of cities at http://www.jll.com/philadelphia/en-us/research/snapshots/839/philadelphia-4-9-18-war-for-talent
Read more on the CU Leeds Economic Report at http://www.boulderco.com/blog/colorado-outperforms-us-economy-state-outlook-strong.html
As home values continue to rise in Colorado, it’s clear that home sellers are benefitting, with four state metro’s making the top 15 of 24/7 Wall St.’s list of cities where people made the most money on home sales.
Boulder ranked No. 8 on the list with Denver, Fort Collins, and Greeley coming in seventh, eleventh and fifteenth, respectively.
According to 24/7 Wall St., Boulder’s average home price gain since last purchase is 56.4 percent or $176,750, compared with Denver’s slightly higher 56.6 percent which translates to $133,700; Fort Collins’ gain of 54.6 percent or $121,850 and Greeley’s 52.6 percent or $107,748.
Top-ranked California metro San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara had an average home price gain of 77 percent or$415,500.
Metro areas like Denver, Nashville, and Austin are “historically steady-Eddie appreciation markets in middle America that have transformed into boomtowns during this particular up economic cycle,” Senior Vice President of Attom Data Solutions Daren Blomquist tells 24/7 Wall St.
The top five and half of the top 20 metro areas with largest home sales gain are West Coast markets, which Blomquist notes were “the last to get hit by the housing crisis and the first to recover.”
Here’s a look at the full data on Colorado cities, as reported by 24/7 Wall St.:
No. 7 – Denver-Aurora-Lakewood
Average home price gain since last purchase: +56.6% (+$133,700)
Average home sale (2017): $453,012
Best historical time to sell: 2017 (+56.6% price chg. since last purchase)
Worst historical time to sell: 2011 (-3.6% price chg. since last purchase)
Average outstanding home loan: $316,904
Median household income: $71,926
No. 8 – Boulder
Average home price gain since last purchase: +56.4% (+$176,750)
Average home sale (2017): $645,424
Best historical time to sell: 2000 (+72.6% price chg. since last purchase)
Worst historical time to sell: 2003 (-0.4% price chg. since last purchase)
Average outstanding home loan: $377,262
Median household income: $74,615
No. 11 – Fort Collins
Average home price gain since last purchase: +54.6% (+$121,850)
Average home sale (2017): $530,051
Best historical time to sell: 2017 (+54.6% price chg. since last purchase)
Worst historical time to sell: 2010 (4.9% price chg. since last purchase)
Average outstanding home loan: $281,579
Median household income: $66,469
No. 15 – Greeley
Average home price gain since last purchase: +52.6% (+$107,748)
Average home sale (2017): $327,100
Best historical time to sell: 2000 (+239.7% price chg. since last purchase)
Worst historical time to sell: 2011 (-6.0% price chg. since last purchase)
Average outstanding home loan: $334,061
Median household income: $63,400
To identify the cities where people make the most on home sales, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed home price gains in metropolitan statistical areas of 200,000 people or more provided by Attom Data Solutions. The real estate data clearing house considered the 150 large MSAs with at least 18 years of home sales and price data. Attom determined for each year the median sales price of all single family homes and condos that sold that year and subtracted it from the median sales price of those same properties the last time they sold. To calculate the percentage gain, the median dollar gain was calculated as a percent of the previous median purchase price.
For the full report visit https://247wallst.com/special-report/2018/03/02/cities-where-people-make-the-most-on-home-sales
Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018 at 2:31pm.
Denver International Airport ranked No. 1 in the U.S, reports international air transport researchers at Skytrax in the 2018 annual airport awards.
In a separate Skytrax ranking of regional airports by continent, Denver is the No. 1 airport in North America and No. 5 regional airport in the world.
More than 13 million international air travelers around the world surveyed for the awards voted Singapore Changi the top airport in the world for the third year in a row. Denver – ranking 29th in the world – claimed the top ranking spot for U.S. airports. Denver is followed by No. 34 Cincinnati, No. 48 Houston International, and Nos. 50 and 51 Atlanta and San Francisco, respectively.
Travelers were surveyed from August 2017 to February 2018, covering 550 airports worldwide and evaluating traveler experiences including check-in, arrivals, transfers, shopping, security, and immigration through to departure at the gate.
But that’s not all. In a separate airport satisfaction survey conducted by J.D. Power Ratings in 2017, DIA pulled a score of 763 out of 1,000, ranking fourth. Orlando International Airport ranks highest in satisfaction among mega airports, with a score of 778. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (767) ranks second, and McCarran International Airport and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (765) tied for third.
The survey found overall passenger satisfaction with North American airports has reached an all-time high.
“Capacity has become a huge challenge for North American airports, with many reporting 100% of available parking spots being filled and large airports, such as Orlando International, setting passenger volume records each month for more than three years straight,” said Michael Taylor, Travel Practice Lead at J.D. Power. “Despite these difficulties, airports are responding with new technology and old-fashioned personal skills to win over harried travelers. These range from smartphone apps that tell travelers where to find a parking spot to therapy dogs—and in one case, a therapy pig—mingling with travelers to relieve stress and improve the overall airport experience.”
Nearly every U.S. airport – faced with high passenger capacity and ongoing construction projects to address increased demand – is using technology to help address these issues. Sacramento International Airport developed a smartphone app that tells travelers where to find a parking spot, and airports nationwide have invested heavily in improving phone-charging stations and internet access in their terminals.
The J.D. Powers study, now in its 12th year, measures overall traveler satisfaction by examining six factors: terminal facilities; airport accessibility; security check; baggage claim; check-in/baggage check; food, beverage and retail. It is based on responses from 34,695 North American travelers who traveled through at least one domestic airport with both departure and arrival experiences during the past three months.
For more on the Skytrax Awards see: http://www.worldairportawards.com/Awards/world_airport_rating.html and http://www.worldairportawards.com/Awards/worlds_best_regional_airports.html
For the full J.D. Power ratings see: http://www.jdpower.com/press-releases/jd-power-2017-north-america-airport-satisfaction-study
Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Monday, May 14th, 2018 at 2:49pm.
Boulder is readying to change the paradigm of transportation mobility as a result of being named one of 35 Champion Cities selected as finalists in the 2018 U.S. Mayors Challenge. The competition is based on city leaders proposing bold solutions to each city’s toughest problems.
Three Colorado cities – Boulder, Denver and Fort Collins – were selected from a pool of more than 320 applicants. Selected cities now begin a six-month testing phase supported by a grant award of up to $100,000 for each to conduct a public prototype.
In Boulder’s application, the city proposed to combat climate change through accessible and affordable transportation alternatives for low- and middle-income residents. City officials will conduct experiments on mobility options – including ridesharing, subsidies, and an electric car loan program – to determine the most effective way to improve low-income residents’ mobility.
Currently, more than half of Boulder’s low- and middle-income residents depend on fossil-fuel, single-occupancy vehicles.
Denver will use cutting-edge air pollution sensors to create a city-wide air quality monitoring program at public school buildings to make better informed decisions on policies. The city aims to address the negative economic and health impact of air pollution. Denver families spend an average $3,100 a year on asthma-related medical costs.
Fort Collins will make more energy efficient rental housing for low and middle-income households to reduce health and economic disparities. Nearly 50,000 Fort Collins households are energy-inefficient.
“We received hundreds of bold and creative ideas from cities around the country in response to the 2018 Mayors Challenge, and these 35 really stood out for their potential to improve people’s lives. The next six months are a great opportunity for the cities to test their ideas and make them even more innovative and effective,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term Mayor of New York City.
During the six-month “Test, Learn, and Adapt” phase of the competition, Boulder and the other Champion Cities will refine their ideas, and then submit new applications in August. In October, five selected cities will be awarded funding to put their ideas into action – four will receive $1 million and one will receive $5 million.
Bloomberg Philanthropies works in over 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. In 2016, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $600 million.
For more information and a list of all 35 Champion Cities, visit mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org
Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Monday, March 19th, 2018 at 9:37am.