Denver is one of only five major metro areas where both rents and monthly mortgage payments now take a bigger bite out of incomes than they did in the years before the housing bubble.
Someone in metro Denver earning the median income can now expect to devote 35 percent of pay to cover the rent on a typical rental property.
That contrasts with an average rent burden of 23.4 percent in Denver between 1985 and 2000 and a current U.S. rent burden of 30.2 percent.
Rent burdens are rising above historical averages in many U.S. cities, and Denver renters aren't necessarily the most burdened. In San Francisco and Los Angeles, for example, rents consume more than 46 percent of median incomes.
What sets Denver apart is how sharply home prices are moving up. Denver ranked first among major metros for year-over-year home price appreciation, 15.4 percent, and second-quarter-over-first-quarter appreciation at 4.5 percent. Metro Denver's average hourly wage, by contrast, rose only 0.6 percent over that same period.
Last month was the first time the average hit above $400,000; Last year the average home price was about $360,000. These days, it’s a brutal race to the finish if you’re looking for a home under $350,000. The high stakes market gets even higher the lower you go in price points. Try to get a condo in Capitol Hill for around $180,000 and you’ll find yourself competing with 20 other offers.
Half of all Denver's new homes for sale sell in six days or less, which is the fastest in the country. Rising home prices in Denver also topped the country, as prices continued to soar. July was the eighth consecutive month of year-over-year price growth above 10 percent.
The median asking price for a single-family home in Denver is $419,000 and the median (half sell for more, half sell for less) sales price $325,000. And more than half of Denver homes sell for above the asking price.