DENVER (KDVR) — Most single adults in Colorado cannot afford their own place in the Denver metro without being cost-burdened.

Real estate records show a single-adult household is about $18,000 a year short of being able to afford a median-priced one-bedroom apartment. The income needs for both rented and purchased homes in the Denver area far exceed the national median income.

An apartment in Denver costs an average of $1,879 per month. The standard advice says households should not spend more than one-third of take-home pay on housing, or 30%. Households that pay more than the recommended share are deemed “cost-burdened.” A recent QuoteWizard study found that half of Colorado households are cost-burdened.

At that rental price, a single-person household would need $85,395 a year in pretax income. The average single adult Colorado household only makes about $66,942 a year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Monthly housing costs in each area have nearly doubled in the Denver metro since 2015, according to the Colorado Association of Realtors.

A one-bedroom apartment cost $1,203 in 2015.

Prices climbed even higher for purchased homes than for renters, assuming a monthly mortgage with the current interest rates and 10% down payment.

Monthly payments on both condos and single-family homes doubled since 2015. They went from $1,234 to almost $2,470 for a condo or townhome, and from $1,999 to $4,003 a month for a single-family home.

The amount of yearly pretax income needed to pay those amounts and not be cost-burdened has also doubled.

A one-bedroom apartment in 2015 required $54,690 a year. A condo or townhome would require roughly the same at $55,545. That condo in 2022 would require $111,180 a year.

A single-family homebuyer needed an annual income of $89,955 in 2015. Now they need $180,135 a year.

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