Rich People Are Coming to Colorado! Thousands of Them!

Photo by Joshua Rondeau on Unsplash
There's more bad news for Coloradans hoping to buy a home. A recent study showed that transplants have a built-in advantage over locals in bidding-war scenarios because they generally have more money to spend, and now a new report reveals that Colorado is among the top destinations in the country for wealthy out-of-staters looking to move.

The phenomenon was also noted in a recent Bloomberg story with a telling headline: "Denver Draws Rich Financiers With $12 Million Lofts, $175 Sushi Menus: Colorado’s capital has transformed from a city in decline into a magnet for the affluent."

"Where High-Earning Households Are Moving," an August study from SmartAsset, a national financial firm, builds on the findings of a July analysis from the real estate website Redfin about places where the budget gap between out-of-towners and locals is the largest.

Denver was prominently featured in the Redfin piece, placing eighth among major U.S. metro areas with the biggest budgetary disparities. As of June, the site calculated the average maximum budget for home shoppers from Denver at $879,964, compared to $983,761 for out-of-staters moving here, an 11.8 percent difference that adds up to nearly $100,000.

Redfin estimated that 9.3 percent of these newcomers to Denver hailed from Los Angeles, followed by 7.9 percent from the San Francisco Bay Area, 5.7 percent from Chicago, 5.5 percent from Washington, D.C., 4.7 percent from Seattle, 4.0 percent from New York, 3.1 percent from Dallas, 2.7 percent from Phoenix and 2.6 percent from Austin, Texas.

Those stats are echoed by SmartAsset figures, which determined that states with the biggest outflow of individuals with incomes of $200,000-plus — a bracket occupied by only about 7 percent of tax filers — were led by California, Illinois, New York and Washington, D.C. Moreover, Southern states and those in the West saw the highest increases in such transplants.

Colorado finished seventh in the nation by this measure. Here are the top ten, including the number of incoming $200,000-plus residents in 2020, the number of similarly monied state residents who moved elsewhere during the same period, and the net gain.

1. Florida
High-income filers added: 32,019
High-income filers lost: 11,756
Net gain: 20,263

2. Texas
High-income filers added: 18,417
High-income filers lost: 13,061
Net gain: 5,356

3. Arizona
High-income filers added: 9,418
High-income filers lost: 4,150
Net gain: 5,268

4. North Carolina
High-income filers added:
High-income filers lost:
Net gain: 4,713

5. South Carolina
High-income filers added: 10,322
High-income filers lost: 5,609
Net gain: 3,967

6. Tennessee
High-income filers added: 6,055
High-income filers lost: 3,312
Net gain: 2,743

7. Colorado
High-income filers added: 8,294
High-income filers lost: 5,670
Net gain: 2,624

8. Nevada
High-income filers added: 4,686
High-income filers lost: 2,355
Net gain: 2,331

9. Idaho
High-income filers added: 2,799
High-income filers lost: 744
Net gain: 2,055

10. Utah
High-income filers added: 3,105
High-income filers lost: 1,602
Net gain: 1,503
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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