Spotlight: Colorado dominates 2020 "Best Places to Live" in U.S.

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by Peter Mertz

DENVER, the United States, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- Four of the five best cities to live in America are in the western state of Colorado, according to the U.S. News and World Report, which published the annual best cities list this week.

"Hard to argue with this top 5! Colorado is simply the best," Democratic Governor Jared Polis posted on Facebook on Thursday.

The governor's post went viral with 6,000 likes by Friday.

However, local residents' reactions quickly moved from pride to concern that the announcement may trigger more to move to the centennial state.

"Noooooo! We don't need more people moving here," Cami Lind posted on Friday.

"Beautiful yes, but who can afford to live here with the housing prices," said Cindy Kimbrough De Leonardis, a resident in the city of Boulder. "(I) Lived here since 2003 but will be moving next year."

Indeed, the top-ranked Boulder is no poor man's land.

With a median home priced at around 550,000 U.S. dollars and a median income of 83,755 U.S. dollars, according to, Boulder, the affluent city 50 km northwest of the state capital Denver, is the wealthiest city in Colorado.

The annual U.S. News report rated 150 U.S. cities on five criteria: desirability, value, job market, quality of life, and net migration.

Boulder received high rankings in desirability, job market, and quality of life, but not in value despite its excessive wealth.

"Apparently, cost of living was not taken into consideration!" Debra Spence posted on Facebook on Friday.

Denver ranked No. 2 on the "Best Places to Live" list, and Austin, Texas, fell from the top spot to No. 3 this year. Colorado Springs and Fort Collins, both located in Colorado, ranked No. 4 and No.5, respectively.

Fort Collins and Boulder are college towns, each with around 35,000 college students. Fort Collins has Colorado State University, and Boulder owns the main campus for the University of Colorado.

Yet, real estate market in Colorado has already responded accordingly with thousands of Americans looking to relocate to the Rocky Mountain State, breaking records each month.

The region broke September records for the most homes put under contract, most homes sold, lowest inventory and highest median home price, according to a report last week from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors (DMAR).

"This translates into the toughest market to buy a house in Denver Metro's history," Andrew Abrams, chairman of the DMAR Market Trends Committee and a Denver real estate agent, said in comments on the monthly Market Trends Report.

"The residential real estate market in Denver continues to churn unimpeded even in the times of COVID-19," said in a blog last month.

"By the end of 2020, the house prices in Denver were expected to rise by 2 to 3 percent, which meant it was likely to be another year of affordability crisis for buyers," the blog predicted.

Supply of single-family homes was extremely low, with only 3,041 active listings on the market at the end of September, shattering the previous low record for September of 5,693 houses, DMAR noted.

The Denver market has been hot since May, but September broke another record with homes lasting only six days before being put under contract.

The single-family home inventory is 54 percent lower than a year ago, and 8 percent lower than in August, another record selling month, DMAR said.

The 2020 U.S. News best cities report also includes an assessment of the "2020 Best Places to Retire" in America.

This category was dominated by the southeastern state of Florida, of which four cities are in the top five positions, namely, No. 1 Fort Myers; No. 2 Sarasota; No. 5 Port St. Lucie; and No. 6 Jacksonville. Enditem

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