Average Person Can't Afford Average House in 10 of 11 CO Counties Analyzed
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Average Person Can't Afford Average House in 10 of 11 CO Counties Analyzed

In recent years, high costs have made home ownership seem like an impossible dream for plenty of people in Denver and other parts of Colorado despite the strong economy. And in the first quarter of 2018, the situation seems to be getting worse instead of better. According to a new study, the average wage earner in ten of eleven Colorado counties analyzed, including six in Denver metro, can't afford a median-priced home in the area.

The numbers come from ATTOM Data Solutions, and the findings aren't stellar in the country as a whole — though the overall digits are certainly better than in Colorado. ATTOM examined housing scenarios in 446 U.S. counties, with 304 of them, or 68 percent, falling short. In Colorado, that figure is 91 percent, with Pueblo being the only county that made the grade. The other Colorado counties included in the study are Adams, Jefferson, Douglas, Arapahoe, Denver, Boulder, Larimer, Mesa, Weld and El Paso — all of them among the state's most populous.

ATTOM determined affordability by calculating how much income would be needed to make monthly house payments, including mortgage, property taxes and insurance, on a median-priced home in each county — and if the average person had to pay more than 28 percent of his annual wages to cover the cost, the county was deemed unaffordable.

As an example, take Adams County. The annual income needed to buy a median-priced home there is $84,020, but the annualized average weekly wages there only come to $52,468. That means such a person would have to spend 44.8 percent of her or his wages on the house — way over the 28 percent threshold. And Adams's score of 77 on ATTOM's affordability index, which establishes any number under 100 as being less affordable than the historic average, is one of the five lowest in the entire country — higher than Santa Fe, New Mexico (72) and Grayson County, Texas (75), but only slightly lower than Ellis County, Texas (78), and Denver, which notched a 79.

The digits for all eleven Colorado counties are collected below, and a slew of line items are provided: the historic percentage of wages needed to buy a median-priced home, the median sales price, the growth percentage for wages and home prices, plus the affordability index score and whether's it's gone up, down or stayed the same. Note that the purchase of a median-priced home assumes a 3 percent down payment and a 28 percent maximum front-end debt-to-income (or DTI) ratio.

Adams County.
Adams County.
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County: Adams
State: Colorado
Median Home Price Affordable for Avg Wage Earner?: NO

Annual Income Need to Buy (3% Down and 28% Front-End DTI): $84,020
Annualized Avg Weekly Wages: $52,468
Historic Pct of Wages to Buy: $0.3
Pct of Annualized Wages to Buy: 44.8%
First Quarter 2018 Affordability Index (Under 100 is Less Affordable Than Historic Average): 77
First Quarter 2018 Median Sales Price: $322,000
Year-Over-Year Annualized Wage Growth: 2%
Year-Over-Year Median Home Price Growth: 11%
Year-Over-Year Pct Change In Affordability Index: -7%

Jefferson County.
Jefferson County.
YouTube file photo

County: Jefferson
State: Colorado
Median Home Price Affordable for Avg Wage Earner?: NO

Annual Income Need to Buy (3% Down and 28% Front-End DTI): $100,357
Annualized Avg Weekly Wages: $55,926
Historic Pct of Wages to Buy: $0.4
Pct of Annualized Wages to Buy: 50.2%
First Quarter 2018 Affordability Index (Under 100 is Less Affordable Than Historic Average): 85
First Quarter 2018 Median Sales Price: $382,000
Year-Over-Year Annualized Wage Growth: 4%
Year-Over-Year Median Home Price Growth: 8%
Year-Over-Year Pct Change In Affordability Index: -2%

Douglas County.
Douglas County.
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County: Douglas
State: Colorado
Median Home Price Affordable for Avg Wage Earner?: NO

2017 Net Migration (Census): 5,479
Annual Income Need to Buy (3% Down and 28% Front-End DTI): $121,774
Annualized Avg Weekly Wages: $61,438
Historic Pct of Wages to Buy: $0.5
Pct of Annualized Wages to Buy: 55.5%
First Quarter 2018 Affordability Index (Under 100 is Less Affordable Than Historic Average): 90
First Quarter 2018 Median Sales Price: $453,000
Year-Over-Year Annualized Wage Growth: 1%
Year-Over-Year Median Home Price Growth: 7%
Year-Over-Year Pct Change In Affordability Index: -3%

Arapahoe County.
Arapahoe County.
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County: Arapahoe
State: Colorado
Median Home Price Affordable for Avg Wage Earner?: NO

Annual Income Need to Buy (3% Down and 28% Front-End DTI): $86,990
Annualized Avg Weekly Wages: $63,804
Historic Pct of Wages to Buy: $0.3
Pct of Annualized Wages to Buy: 38.2%
First Quarter 2018 Affordability Index (Under 100 is Less Affordable Than Historic Average): 82
First Quarter 2018 Median Sales Price: $330,000
Year-Over-Year Annualized Wage Growth: 2%
Year-Over-Year Median Home Price Growth: 7%
Year-Over-Year Pct Change In Affordability Index: -1%

Denver County.
Denver County.
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County: Denver
State: Colorado
Median Home Price Affordable for Avg Wage Earner?: NO

Annual Income Need to Buy (3% Down and 28% Front-End DTI): $104,176
Annualized Avg Weekly Wages: $67,067
Historic Pct of Wages to Buy: $0.3
Pct of Annualized Wages to Buy: 43.5%
First Quarter 2018 Affordability Index (Under 100 is Less Affordable Than Historic Average): 79
First Quarter 2018 Median Sales Price: $400,000
Year-Over-Year Annualized Wage Growth: 3%
Year-Over-Year Median Home Price Growth: 11%
Year-Over-Year Pct Change In Affordability Index: -4%

Boulder County.
Boulder County.
YouTube file photo

County: Boulder
State: Colorado
Median Home Price Affordable for Avg Wage Earner?: NO

Annual Income Need to Buy (3% Down and 28% Front-End DTI): $125,194
Annualized Avg Weekly Wages: $64,311
Historic Pct of Wages to Buy: $0.5
Pct of Annualized Wages to Buy: 54.5%
First Quarter 2018 Affordability Index (Under 100 is Less Affordable Than Historic Average): 89
First Quarter 2018 Median Sales Price: $475,000
Year-Over-Year Annualized Wage Growth: 3%
Year-Over-Year Median Home Price Growth: 3%
Year-Over-Year Pct Change In Affordability Index: 0%

Larimer County.
Larimer County.
YouTube file photo

County: Larimer
State: Colorado
Median Home Price Affordable for Avg Wage Earner?: NO

Annual Income Need to Buy (3% Down and 28% Front-End DTI): $91,774
Annualized Avg Weekly Wages: $49,842
Historic Pct of Wages to Buy: $0.4
Pct of Annualized Wages to Buy: 51.6%
First Quarter 2018 Affordability Index (Under 100 is Less Affordable Than Historic Average): 85
First Quarter 2018 Median Sales Price: $350,000
Year-Over-Year Annualized Wage Growth: 4%
Year-Over-Year Median Home Price Growth: 9%
Year-Over-Year Pct Change In Affordability Index: -4%

Mesa County.
Mesa County.
YouTube file photo

County: Mesa
State: Colorado
Median Home Price Affordable for Avg Wage Earner?: NO

Annual Income Need to Buy (3% Down and 28% Front-End DTI): $56,313
Annualized Avg Weekly Wages: $42,003
Historic Pct of Wages to Buy: $0.4
Pct of Annualized Wages to Buy: 37.5%
First Quarter 2018 Affordability Index (Under 100 is Less Affordable Than Historic Average): 99
First Quarter 2018 Median Sales Price: $216,000
Year-Over-Year Annualized Wage Growth: 2%
Year-Over-Year Median Home Price Growth: 11%
Year-Over-Year Pct Change In Affordability Index: -7%

Weld County.
Weld County.
YouTube file photo

County: Weld
State: Colorado
Median Home Price Affordable for Avg Wage Earner?: NO

Annual Income Need to Buy (3% Down and 28% Front-End DTI): $79,430
Annualized Avg Weekly Wages: $48,139
Historic Pct of Wages to Buy: $0.4
Pct of Annualized Wages to Buy: 46.2%
First Quarter 2018 Affordability Index* (Under 100 is Less Affordable Than Historic Average): 80
First Quarter 2018 Median Sales Price: $308,000
Year-Over-Year Annualized Wage Growth: 3%
Year-Over-Year Median Home Price Growth: 10%
Year-Over-Year Pct Change In Affordability Index: -5%

El Paso County.
El Paso County.
YouTube file photo

County: El Paso
State: Colorado
Median Home Price Affordable for Avg Wage Earner?: NO

Annual Income Need to Buy (3% Down and 28% Front-End DTI): $68,366
Annualized Avg Weekly Wages: $48,607
Historic Pct of Wages to Buy: $0.4
Pct of Annualized Wages to Buy: 39.4%
First Quarter 2018 Affordability Index (Under 100 is Less Affordable Than Historic Average): 91
First Quarter 2018 Median Sales Price: $263,000
Year-Over-Year Annualized Wage Growth: 3%
Year-Over-Year Median Home Price Growth: 10%
Year-Over-Year Pct Change In Affordability Index: -6%

Pueblo County.
Pueblo County.
YouTube file photo

County: Pueblo
State: Colorado
Median Home Price Affordable for Avg Wage Earner?: YES

Annual Income Need to Buy (3% Down and 28% Front-End DTI): $39,771
Annualized Avg Weekly Wages: $41,093
Historic Pct of Wages to Buy: $0.2
Pct of Annualized Wages to Buy: 27.1%
First Quarter 2018 Affordability Index (Under 100 is Less Affordable Than Historic Average): 92
First Quarter 2018 Median Sales Price: $150,000
Year-Over-Year Annualized Wage Growth: 2%
Year-Over-Year Median Home Price Growth: 10%
Year-Over-Year Pct Change In Affordability Index: -7%

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