DENVER (KDVR) — You officially need to be rich to own a home in Colorado. Homes are more out of reach for the middle class in the Denver metro than nearly any other place in the country, according to a new report.
The National Realtors Association and Realtor.com collaborated on a national report released Monday that puts the national housing shortage in the spotlight. Would-be homebuyers are facing a double whammy of market forces that keep them from getting a place of their own. Costs of homes have skyrocketed, and the amount of homes available to those of middle incomes has shrunk.
In Colorado, the number of those middle-class homes has shrunk to nearly nothing.
The study uses a collection of measurements to gauge “affordability,” but the gist of it is what a certain income range can afford to pay a 30-year mortgage for and still not spend more than 30% of their income monthly. Traditionally, a two-person household earning between $75,000 and $99,999 a year is considered the biggest wedge of the middle-income pie.
The Denver area ranks below only notoriously expensive California cities and Seattle in the number of homes these households can afford to buy.
There is one home listing per every 348 listings that a household in this income range could afford. Other cities in the intermountain west are seeing the same population influx as Denver and the same housing crunch. Salt Lake City has the same ration of available middle class homes.
This puts the Denver metro behind both Austin and Boston in terms of housing affordability. Only the San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, Oxnard and San Jose metro areas have smaller proportions of homes in reach for the middle class. In San Jose, the nation’s most expensive, a middle class household can only afford one real estate listing in every 2,043.