Report highlights declining affordability of homes in Denver and surrounding counties

Posted at 3:57 PM, Mar 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-31 17:57:00-04

DENVER – In line with recent trends, the percentage of a person’s income that it takes to buy a median-priced home was on the rise in Denver and the surrounding areas in the first three months of the year, according to the latest report from RealtyTrac.

The report cites data from ATTOM Data Solutions, which calculated an “affordability index” for 379 counties nationwide. The index represents how affordable home ownership is in comparison to an area’s historical average, with 100 being on par with the average and a lower score denoting lower affordability.

In eight of the 10 Colorado counties examined in the report, the affordability index was below 100 in the first quarter of 2017. Only Mesa and Pueblo counties were more affordable than their historical averages.

In most of the less-affordable counties, growth in home prices has outpaced wage growth, meaning it takes a bigger portion of a person’s income in order to afford owning a home. That problem appears to be the worst in Boulder County, where it takes almost 60 percent of the average worker’s income to buy a median-priced home, according to the report.

Douglas, Jefferson, and Larimer counties also require more than 50 percent of the average income, while Denver county is slightly lower at 42.5 percent.

Take a look at the map below for more detailed information.

The trend of declining affordability is seen in counties nationwide, according to RealtyTrac. The report found the national “affordability index” was 103 in the first quarter of 2017. That’s down from 119 a year ago and is the lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2008. One out of every four counties is less affordable now compared to its historical average, according to the report.

For more information, log on to


Sign up for Denver7 email alerts to stay informed about breaking news and daily headlines.

Or, keep up-to-date by following Denver7 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.