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DENVER (KDVR) — It took only five years for Colorado’s most populous areas to shoot into the upper reaches of national housing prices.

Housing in Colorado isn’t cheap, especially in the areas where most Coloradans happen to live or would dream of living. Among the counties that surround the Denver and Boulder metro areas, the median sales price for a single-family home approaches twice the national.

Much of this expense has occurred only in the last few years.

The home values in Denver metro and High Rockies counties are on average 50% more expensive than they were only five years ago.

A single-family home in the Denver metro counties sold for a median $560,000 in March 2021. In Denver proper, they sold for $630,000.

Expectedly, the High Rockies counties have the most expensive single-family homes.

A single-family home in Pitkin County, which has one of the nation’s highest income per capita, sold for $3.1 million in March 2021. Summit and Eagle counties – homes to Breckenridge and Vail – sold homes for an average $1.6 million and $1.2 million, respectively.

These counties have always been wealthy resort communities, but demand drove prices even higher than normal.

Except for Pitkin County, whose Aspen and Snowmass homes sold for higher amounts five years ago, the average home prices for mountain counties was below $1 million until this year.

The comparatively more affordable Denver metro counties now price homes in the upper half of six figures, on average.

A Boulder County home sells for $800,000, the fourth most expensive in the state. Denver, the fifth most expensive, sells for $630,000.

Suburbs are less expensive. Broomfield homes sold for an average $620,000, Jefferson County homes for $600,000, Arapahoe County homes for $522,500 and Adams County homes for $455,350.

Except Pitkin County, every Front Range or mountain county north of Colorado Springs (which is not included in this study) has seen home prices increase by a minimum 20%.

The counties with the highest price increases over the last five years were the mountain counties. Summit County’s home prices more than doubled.

Denver and Boulder and the counties that house their suburbs did not see price increases of the same rate. Denver, Boulder, Jefferson, Adams, Weld, Arapahoe, Douglas and Larimer counties’ median home sales increased an average 48%.

The sustained price increase has shot the Denver area well beyond the national average of housing prices.

Single-family homes in any Denver metro or Front Range county are now at minimum $90,000 more expensive than the national average.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the U.S. median sales price for a single-family home in March 2021 was $329,100.

Weld County, which has the least expensive housing market along the Front Range, had a median sales price of $420,000.