Ben Mizes is the co-founder and CEO of Clever Real Estate, a free online service that connects you with top real estate agents. Mizes is also an active real estate investor with 22 units in St. Louis, and a licensed real estate agents in the State of Missouri.
Denver is the safest city in America
Denver came out on top, and it wasn’t even close
Congratulations, Denver — leave the keys in the ignition, don’t bother locking your front door, and don’t worry about those Amazon packages sitting on your doorstep all day, because you’re in the safest city in America.
A study by Clever Real Estate came to this conclusion after looking at the 50 largest metro areas in the U.S. through the lens of five differently-weighted core metrics: violent crime rate, property crime rate, natural disasters, drinking water violations and transportation fatalities.
After running the numbers, Denver came out on top, and it wasn’t even close. Let’s dig into some of the study’s findings and discuss the implications for Denver’s real estate market.
Denver is strikingly safe
Ranking all 50 U.S. metros by the rate of violent crimes per 100,000 residents, Denver comes in dead last, with a rate of 165.7. For comparison, Memphis, the city with the most violent crime, came in at a rate of 1142.5, which equates to seven times more violent crime than Denver. Even comparing Denver to a sleepy, moneyed beach town like San Jose, which ranked in the safest third of U.S. metros, is telling; San Jose had twice as much violent crime as Denver.
This is in contrast to recent headlines about Denver’s recent uptick in violent crime, but keep in mind that this increase has been expressed as a percentage, not raw numbers. Denver started out with a crime rate much lower than other cities, so even if it saw a 6% increase in violent crime, it remains far safer than most other cities — in fact, it’s still the safest city in the U.S. And it’s not just Denver, either; Colorado is home to three of the safest cities in the country.
Denver sees very little property crime
Denver had the third-lowest rate of property crime out of the 50 metros studied, surpassed only by Birmingham, AL, and New York City. With 840 property crimes per 100,000 residents, Denver has a third as much property crime compared to Baltimore or Orlando and a quarter as much as Salt Lake City, and a fifth as much as Memphis.
Denver is safe from nature
Secure, land-locked Denver has the sixth-lowest rate of natural disasters, less than half as much as hurricane-prone New Orleans, and less than a quarter of both New York City, most of which sits on an island, or Los Angeles, which is next to the Pacific Ocean and right on top of several faults.
Denver’s water is just OK
This is one category where Denver came in in the middle of the pack, ranking No. 24 out of 50 for water contamination risk. Still, the water in Denver is twice as safe as it is in Tampa and nearly eight times safer than it is in Oklahoma City.
Denver’s streets are safe, too
Denver ranks in the lowest third for transportation fatalities per 100,000 residents. While not a traditional measure of safety, this metric says a lot about a city’s general quality of life and how secure its citizens are. Birmingham, AL, the city with the most transportation fatalities, had 2.5 more traffic deaths than Denver.
Denver’s in a great position to continue its stunning boom, with a strong job market and an impressive real estate forecast. But while the city’s increase in violent crime is proportionally small, perceptions that Denver is becoming more dangerous could put the brakes on white-hot real estate values, pushing it towards a buyer’s market. Combine that with the nationwide projections of a softening market in 2020 and beyond, and Denver homeowners might want to consider selling soon.