DENVER (KDVR) — The Denver area and most Front Range cities require some of the nation’s highest household incomes in order to afford a home, according to the most recent release from the National Association of Realtors.

Nationally, housing has become less affordable than at any point since 1989. Housing prices began spiking in 2020, and mortgage rates spiked again in 2022 in response to record inflation levels. Monthly payments on a median-priced home grew by 55%. In order to make payments, would-be homebuyers need much higher income levels to afford a home.

The National Association of Realtors calculates the amount needed to afford payments in 187 U.S. metro areas. In the second quarter of 2022, Colorado households need higher incomes than anywhere in the nation except coastal California cities and Honolulu.

In Boulder, a household needs between $227,000 and $239,000 in order to afford a home and not spend more than 25% of its income on mortgage payments. The range depends on whether buyers put 5%, 10% or 20% down on the home.

The Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro area is slightly cheaper but still in the top 90% of the national expense. Buyers need $169,000-$178,000 in qualifying income. Qualifying income for a home ranges from $153,000 to $162,000 in Fort Collins.