DENVER (KDVR) – The City of Aurora wants public input its own struggles with the ballooning cost of Colorado housing.
The city is asking interested residents to complete a survey by Oct. 13 regarding its policy proposals to ease the housing situation. Nationally, there are fewer homes on the market than ever before and record-breaking prices for single family detached homes.
Aurora, Denver’s largest suburb and Colorado’s third-largest city, joins the rest of the country and its metro area. Last month, Denver’s home inventory hit an all-time low and pushed the average single-family home price to $606,330, the highest in history.
The COVID-19 pandemic’s employment hardships feed into a storm of factors that have pushed Aurora’s housing market upward while citizens struggle to keep up. Houses stock has dropped and prices have ballooned faster than income.
Like many areas of the Denver metro, Aurora has seen a spike in population in the last ten years. Between 2010 and 2018, the city added nearly 50,000 residents – a 15% increase. In five years, the city expects to add another 25,000 – the number needed to fill the jobs it will create.
More people means more housing, but housing hasn’t come nearly as quickly as Colorado’s transplants. Whether they rent or own their housing, fewer options have driven higher costs.
Aurora’s median rent has gone up by 36% between 2010 and 2017.
Aurora is one of only two cities in the metro area whose rent average has risen at the same rate as the average renter income, but average renter incomes were inadequate for existing housing in 2010. Renters must make at least $50,000 a year to afford the average Aurora rental, and yet only make a median $40,000 a year.
Homeowners face an even darker financial picture.
Between 2010 and 2017, single family home values shot up 71%, twice as much as rent has.
Aurora is still more affordable than surrounding areas, but because the Denver metro area is expensive rather than Aurora being cheap. The city did account for half of the metro’s homes listed under $200,000. Still, only one-third of Aurora homes between 2018 and 2019 sold for less than $300,000. Half cost between $300,000 and $500,000.
Even trailer homes have quintupled in price in the last ten years.
Aurora’s challenges match the national standard.
According to the National Association of Realtors, there were fewer single-family homes for sale in July than any point since they started tracking data in 1982. Median home prices have risen above $300,000 for the first time.
Aurora has a detailed approach to address the issue. Rather than simply allowing more housing to be built, it wants to encourage certain types of housing to meet the needs of each respective income bracket – more high-priced luxury rentals for the renters who can afford them, more deeply subsidized housing for those under the poverty line, more duplexes and townhomes for would-be homeowners making middle incomes.