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Seattle beats Denver...in housing and energy

Friday, 31 Jan 2014 | 8:17 AM ET
Seattle and Denver
Karl Weatherly (L), Alan Copson (R) | Getty Images
Seattle and Denver

Denver and Seattle may be the top teams in football, but as housing markets, they are not exactly in the same league. Their populations are about the same, in the low 600,000s, but their demographics differ enough to make homes in Seattle nearly twice as pricey as those in Denver.

The median home value in Seattle comes in at $430,700, while Denver's hovers around $253,300, according to the Zillow Home Value Index. Denver's pricing, however, is recovering faster than Seattle's, up 9.5 percent from a year ago versus Seattle's 8.4 percent gain.

(Read more: Million-dollar homes: Super Bowl edition)

The differences in the two markets are based on income, as all housing always is. The median income in Seattle is $45,736, while the median income in Denver is $39,500. Denver also has more homes with kids, which brings down housing and household spending power.

Home Values in Denver and Seattle

Demographics in Denver and Seattle

Source: zillow.com

Denver also loses when it comes to energy savings during the Super Bowl itself. Virginia-based Opower ranked how much energy would be saved in households in both cities during the game. The theory goes that if everyone is watching football on one television, they are not running other household appliances, lights, or even heat in other parts of the home.

(Read more: Why mortgage rates aren't higher ... yet)

"The Super Bowl reduces home electricity use across the country—about a 5 percent reduction—thanks to communal viewing and fixation on a single appliance, the TV," said Opower's Barry Fischer.

Opower, which works with utilities to promote energy efficiency, estimates that total residential electricity to be saved during the broadcast of Super Bowl XLVIII in Denver will be 44,314 kilowatt-hours citywide, but Seattle will save a whopping 70,968 kwh citywide.

December pending home sales drop 8.8% YOY
CNBC's Diana Olick says the National Association of Realtors reports December pending home sales dropped 8.7 percent. The high drop is contributed to exceptionally bad winter weather.

"Seattle has more households than Denver, which means that the absolute energy savings impact of 'TV-pooling' is even bigger there," Fischer said.

(Read more: New home buyers are seeing more barriers)

By CNBC's Diana Olick. Follow her on Twitter @Diana_Olick.

Questions?Comments? facebook.com/DianaOlickCNBC

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