DENVER (KDVR) — One in three Denver households is house poor.
A study from the Chamber of Commerce analyzed home costs and income levels in 155 U.S. cities to see which have the deepest gaps. According to common budgeting wisdom, homeowners should spend no more than 30% of their income on household expenses. Those that do are termed “cost-burdened,” or in this study, “house poor.”
In an age of ballooning housing prices and high interest rates, desirable markets such as Denver are especially prone to high house poor concentrations – even with their relatively high income levels.
In Denver, 30.2% of households are house poor, according to the study’s analysis of American Community Survey data. This is the 63rd-highest share among 155 cities. Nationally, 27.4% of households are house poor.
Even though Denver’s household income is about 20% higher than the national average, so are housing costs. The median yearly housing cost for a Denver household is $25,044.
Cities in sunny and high-value coastal areas have up to twice Denver’s share of house poor households. Hialeah, Florida ranks the highest in the nation with 59.3% of households spending more than 30% of income on household expenses. Los Angeles comes next with 48.7%, followed by New York City (45.3%), Miami (44.6%), Hollywood (44.3%), Honolulu (44.2%), Palmdale, California (44%), Fort Lauderdale (43.7%), Long Beach (43.5%) and Oxnard, California (43.4%).
Meanwhile, house poor rates are about half Denver’s rate in Huntsville, Alabama; Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Cary, North Carolina.