Denver real estate market improving at a faster rate than rest of the country

Home sales prices in the Denver metro area continued to rise at a higher rate than the national average in June, according to a July 10 home price index report from real estate data company Clear Capital.

The report showed a rebound of national home prices with 1.7 percent yearly gains and an improvement in regional performance throughout the country. The western part of the country led in both predicted growth and price recovery.

The Denver-Aurora metropolitan statistical area (MSA) observed a 3.6 percent increase in home sales prices in June compared with the previous quarter, the report found. The numbers put metro Denver as 13th in the top 50 major markets across the country, which takes into account MSA prices, REO saturation and projections through 2012.

Real estate in Denver continues to soar, and the Clear Capital report estimates that metro Denver housing prices will have increased by 3.9 percent by the end of the year. The Denver Business Journal reported that Denver had been ranked as high as No. 8 in the country for top markets, occurring this past April.

As the housing market in Denver further recovers, people looking to move to the city should explore various neighborhoods to find an area that best fits their needs. The Denver Convention and Visitors Bureau offers a handful of profiles about different key neighborhoods within Denver, making the research process slightly less harrowing.

One of Denver's unique neighborhoods worthy of exploration is Littleton, which offers urbanites a window to a different era. Littleton was featured in 5280 Magazine as one of the top 10 places to live, shop and work in the Denver area.

Downtown Littleton is made up primarily of older buildings from the turn of the 20th century and is home to some of the city's most unique small businesses. The area is peppered with art galleries and includes the Littleton Historical Museum, where visitors can explore the agricultural roots of the town.

According to the Historic Downtown Littleton Merchants Association, the area is also one of the few historic shopping districts that remain along the Front Range, the easternmost mountain range of the Rockies. The district has more than 250 shops, four-star restaurants and other entertainment options ranging from bowling to an award-winning live theater. Those looking to experience hometown living could look to Littleton for perks of a suburban life only a 20-minute train ride away from downtown Denver.