Denver is changing and growing fast. Over the last few months I have seen my friends' rents increase, house prices skyrocket, and Denver neighborhood demographics rapidly change. It's an exciting and often stressful time for Denverites, but this isn't the first boom and crisis we've seen. Using the Western History Subject index I was able to find several articles with headlines that could easily be seen in today's paper.
The housing crisis in the 1940s went on for half of the decade. Other headlines from the 1940s read "Governor warns possibility he will call special session of legislature to curb sky-rocketing rents in state," and "Council passes ordinance limiting rent increases to 10%." After World War II ended there was a shortage of housing for returning veterans and the city struggled to keep up with young men returning to the workforce and seeking homes in the metro area.
The above headline is from the 1979 housing crisis. Many of the articles from this time emphasized the impact of the population boom on the environment. There were also articles describing the sudden shift from people wanting to live in the suburbs to being interested in city living again and the availability of low-income housing since the downtown area was becoming gentrified. One article predicted that the housing shortage if the late 70s and early 80s was due to the baby boomer generation reaching home-buying age. There was also a recession in the mid-1970s that caused a slow down in new construction. This seems to reflect the current housing shortage as we recover from the recent recession.
I don't want to downplay the struggles that many residents are going through with the changes to housing. Looking at our history can help us understand change and rest assured that the crisis will eventually settle as it has in the past. Denver will always have booms in the population as well as periods of stagnation.
If you are one of the lucky ones who have found real estate in the Denver area, come visit us to research your house history. You can also read more articles about the history of housing booms and busts using our newspaper index which has been digitized.