Report highlights lack of affordable housing in Boulder County and surrounding areas

LONGMONT, Colo. – There’s a serious lack of affordable housing in Boulder County and surrounding cities and the problem is only getting worse, according to a newly-released study.

Authors Amy Aschenbrenner, CEO of the Longmont Association of Realtors and Kyle Snyder of Land Title Guarantee Company have been studying home prices in the area since 2014 and they say it’s becoming increasingly difficult for first-time homebuyers to find properties they can afford.

“There is no entry level housing being constructed and there hasn’t been any for several years,” Aschenbrenner and Snyder write in their report. Aschenbrenner and Snyder considered a single-family home “affordable” if it cost less than $250,000.

In 2014, there were nearly 1,500 homes in their study area that sold for under $250,000. By 2016 that number had dropped to just 413, representing a 72 percent decline.

In Boulder, where the average home price is over $1 million, only three homes sold for less than $250,000 last year and none of them were in the city’s “permanently affordable” housing program, which restricts price increases. In Louisville and and Superior, that number was zero.

Image: Amy Aschenbrenner, Kyle Snyder

Longmont and Loveland had the biggest share of affordable homes sold last year, at 90 and 226, respectively. But like other cities in the area, home prices continue to climb. The average price in Longmont last year was $386,043 and Aschenbrenner and Snyder said the nearly 1,000 new homes expected to be built there in the next few years will be priced at or above that level.

“Without this lower priced housing stock we are restricting future generations from creating their own wealth and prohibiting them from enhancing our community by their prolonged residence in the city,” Aschenbrenner and Snyder said.

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