fbpx

A new analysis reveals that renting a three-bedroom property is more affordable than buying a median-priced home in the vast majority of Colorado counties surveyed, including all of those in the Denver metro area.

The information is gleaned from data assembled for the “2019 Rental Affordability Report” and supplied to Westword by ATTOM Data Solutions.

The folks at ATTOM crunched the numbers related to 755 counties across the country, drawing from newly released fair-market rent data for 2019 gathered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as wage figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and public-record sales-deed info assembled by ADS researchers.

Among the major takeaways: Renting is more affordable than buying in 442 of the counties studied, or 59 percent of the total, partly because of fast-rising real estate costs. Home prices were found to be outpacing wages in 80 percent of housing markets in the United States.

The situation is even more extreme in Colorado. Seventeen counties were included in the report. Of those, buying was a better deal than renting in only two, or just under 13 percent — making renting cheaper in more than 87 percent of the Colorado counties.

Moreover, renting is more affordable in the most populous Colorado counties studied, in keeping with a national trend; that was also the case in the country’s eighteen largest counties by population, and 37 of the top forty. That’s despite several years of sky-high rent in Denver, where prices have only recently started to moderate. In the meantime, Denver has registered some of the worst home affordability in the nation, though experts see signs of improvement heading into springtime.

The two Colorado counties where buying makes more sense are located in the southeastern quadrant of the state and have relatively modest populations.

Continue to see data for all seventeen Colorado counties included in the study, with those in the Denver metro area near the top and the two where buying bests renting at the bottom.

County: Broomfield
Metropolitan Statistical Area: Denver-Aurora-Lakewood
Population: 60,699
Housing Units: 24,710
2019 Three-Bedroom Rent: $2,302
2018 Three-Bedroom Rent: $2,211
2019 v. 2018 Three-Bedroom Rent Percentage Change: +4.1 percent
2019 Rent Affordability (Percentage of Average Wages to Rent): 33.4 percent
Cheaper to Buy or Rent: RENT

County: Douglas
Metropolitan Statistical Area: Denver-Aurora-Lakewood
Population: 306,974
Housing Units: 115,068
2019 Three-Bedroom Rent: $2,302
2018 Three-Bedroom Rent: $2,211
2019 v. 2018 Three-Bedroom Rent Percentage Change: +4.1 percent
2019 Rent Affordability (Percentage of Average Wages to Rent): 45.4 percent
Cheaper to Buy or Rent: RENT

County: Jefferson
Metropolitan Statistical Area: Denver-Aurora-Lakewood
Population: 552,344
Housing Units: 232,477
2019 Three-Bedroom Rent: $2,302
2018 Three-Bedroom Rent: $2,211
2019 v. 2018 Three-Bedroom Rent Percentage Change: +4.1 percent
2019 Rent Affordability (Percentage of Average Wages to Rent): 49.1 percent
Cheaper to Buy or Rent: RENT

County: Arapahoe
Metropolitan Statistical Area: Denver-Aurora-Lakewood
Population: 608,310
Housing Units: 241,431
2019 Three-Bedroom Rent: $2,302
2018 Three-Bedroom Rent: $2,211
2019 v. 2018 Three-Bedroom Rent Percentage Change: +4.1 percent
2019 Rent Affordability (Percentage of Average Wages to Rent): 44.2 percent
Cheaper to Buy or Rent: RENT

County: Adams
Metropolitan Statistical Area: Denver-Aurora-Lakewood
Population: 471,206
Housing Units: 165,046
2019 Three-Bedroom Rent: $2,302
2018 Three-Bedroom Rent: $2,211
2019 v. 2018 Three-Bedroom Rent Percentage Change: +4.1 percent
2019 Rent Affordability (Percentage of Average Wages to Rent): 52.1 percent
Cheaper to Buy or Rent: RENT

County: Denver
Metropolitan Statistical Area: Denver-Aurora-Lakewood
Population: 649,654
Housing Units: 294,191
2019 Three-Bedroom Rent: $2,302
2018 Three-Bedroom Rent: $2,211
2019 v. 2018 Three-Bedroom Rent Percentage Change: +4.1 percent
2019 Rent Affordability (Percentage of Average Wages to Rent): 41.9 percent
Cheaper to Buy or Rent: RENT

County: Boulder
Metropolitan Statistical Area: Boulder
Population: 310,032
Housing Units: 129,739
2019 Three-Bedroom Rent: $2,318
2018 Three-Bedroom Rent: $2,220
2019 v. 2018 Three-Bedroom Rent Percentage Change: +4.4 percent
2019 Rent Affordability (Percentage of Average Wages to Rent): 43.3 percent
Cheaper to Buy or Rent: RENT

County: El Paso
Metropolitan Statistical Area: Colorado Springs
Population: 655,024
Housing Units: 261,745
2019 Three-Bedroom Rent: $1,745
2018 Three-Bedroom Rent: $1,656
2019 v. 2018 Three-Bedroom Rent Percentage Change: +2.9 percent
2019 Rent Affordability (Percentage of Average Wages to Rent): 40.8 percent
Cheaper to Buy or Rent: RENT

County: Teller
Metropolitan Statistical Area: Colorado Springs
Population: 23,240
Housing Units: 12,730
2019 Three-Bedroom Rent: $1,628
2018 Three-Bedroom Rent: $1,582
2019 v. 2018 Three-Bedroom Rent Percentage Change: +2.9 percent
2019 Rent Affordability (Percentage of Average Wages to Rent): 51.9 percent
Cheaper to Buy or Rent: RENT

County: Larimer
Metropolitan Statistical Area: Fort Collins
Population: 318,277
Housing Units: 136,851
2019 Three-Bedroom Rent: $1,923
2018 Three-Bedroom Rent: $1,712
2019 v. 2018 Three-Bedroom Rent Percentage Change: +12.3 percent
2019 Rent Affordability (Percentage of Average Wages to Rent): 47.7 percent
Cheaper to Buy or Rent: RENT

County: Weld
Metropolitan Statistical Area: Greeley
Population: 270,948
Housing Units: 99,226
2019 Three-Bedroom Rent: $1,543
2018 Three-Bedroom Rent: $1,468
2019 v. 2018 Three-Bedroom Rent Percentage Change: +5.1 percent
2019 Rent Affordability (Percentage of Average Wages to Rent): 37.3 percent
Cheaper to Buy or Rent: RENT

County: Garfield
Metropolitan Statistical Area: Glenwood Springs
Population: 57,076
Housing Units: 23,338
2019 Three-Bedroom Rent: $1,809
2018 Three-Bedroom Rent: $1,775
2019 v. 2018 Three-Bedroom Rent Percentage Change: +1.9 percent
2019 Rent Affordability (Percentage of Average Wages to Rent): 46.1 percent
Cheaper to Buy or Rent: RENT

County: La Plata
Metropolitan Statistical Area: Durango
Population: 53,182
Housing Units: 26,365
2019 Three-Bedroom Rent: $1,634
2018 Three-Bedroom Rent: $1,645
2019 v. 2018 Three-Bedroom Rent Percentage Change: -0.7 percent
2019 Rent Affordability (Percentage of Average Wages to Rent): 44.7 percent
Cheaper to Buy or Rent: RENT

County: Mesa
Metropolitan Statistical Area: Grand Junction
Population: 147,834
Housing Units: 63,472
2019 Three-Bedroom Rent: $1,297
2018 Three-Bedroom Rent: $1,296
2019 v. 2018 Three-Bedroom Rent Percentage Change: +0.1 percent
2019 Rent Affordability (Percentage of Average Wages to Rent): 36.5 percent
Cheaper to Buy or Rent: RENT

County: Eagle
Metropolitan Statistical Area: Edwards
Population: 52,576
Housing Units: 31,474
2019 Three-Bedroom Rent: $1,921
2018 Three-Bedroom Rent: $1,950
2019 v. 2018 Three-Bedroom Rent Percentage Change: -1.5 percent
2019 Rent Affordability (Percentage of Average Wages to Rent): 52.8 percent
Cheaper to Buy or Rent: RENT

County: Pueblo
Metropolitan Statistical Area: Pueblo
Population: 161,519
Housing Units: 69,959
2019 Three-Bedroom Rent: $1,307
2018 Three-Bedroom Rent: $1,168
2019 v. 2018 Three-Bedroom Rent Percentage Change: +11.9 percent
2019 Rent Affordability (Percentage of Average Wages to Rent): 37.7 percent
Cheaper to Buy or Rent: BUY

County: Fremont
Metropolitan Statistical Area: Cañon City
Population: 46,809
Housing Units: 19,240
2019 Three-Bedroom Rent: $1,204
2018 Three-Bedroom Rent: $1,145
2019 v. 2018 Three-Bedroom Rent Percentage Change: +5.2 percent
2019 Rent Affordability (Percentage of Average Wages to Rent): 40.0 percent
Cheaper to Buy or Rent: BUY

Written by: Michael Roberts

Westword Magazine

Renting a Home is Better