Stapleton is the fourth-best-selling master planned community in the country according to a study by Robert Charles Lesser & Co. (RCLCO), a real estate consultancy. The ranking is based on total home sales comparing mid-year 2015 to mid-year 2014. Stapleton saw an increase in home sales during that period of 30 percent, from 335 to 435 units. Stapleton’s ranking for the prior year was sixth. The second and third ranked projects located in Orange County, CA and Ponte Vedra, FL sold 1,036 and 610 units respectively. (The top-ranked project is The Villages, FL however the RCLCA report did not provide the sales numbers for the project).
RCLCO attributes Stapleton’s performance to development of new sections in the northern portion of the community “as well as stronger demand for higher-priced products.” Stapleton’s developer, Forest City, states, “We expect even more growth at Stapleton in 2016 with the opening of commuter rail stations connecting Stapleton to downtown Denver and Denver International Airport.”
Those optimistic assessments are supported by research performed by Metrostudy that found 2015 home sales in the Denver market reached an all-time high of 55,509, with fourth quarter housing starts at their highest level since 2005.
Comments by John Covert, Director of Metrostudy’s Denver market, will probably resonate with those familiar with the Stapleton sub-market: “Strong demand for move-up buyers combined with rising costs have placed more emphasis on higher priced product over the course of the last several years. The most prominent change in the past year has been in the $400,000-$499,999 price band where 34% of all homes started in 2015 were concentrated. 2015 was a low water mark for new home starts below $300,000 representing only 7% of total starts for the year.”
Lisa Hall, Forest City’s Community Development Director, reports that 30 percent of the people selling their homes in Stapleton were doing so to purchase a new home also in Stapleton.
The Metrostudy report also noted that condo construction “remains anemic, as only 173 units were started in 2015, accounting for 2% of all new home activity.”
Stapleton and the metro area’s on-going home sale success also reflects a national trend: 19 of the top 20 projects cited in the RCLCO study are located in the south and west of the U.S.