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Denver market stretches young buyers’ budgets — but only temporarily

by | Mar 28, 2016 | Blog, Buying a Home, Denver Real Estate Market

Stapleton-149With Denver’s rising real estate prices, young people would seem to face an uphill slope when it comes to affording a home. But that slope isn’t as steep as it might seem, according to a new study from the real estate website Trulia.

As reported in the Denver Post, Trulia looked at median household incomes for 25- to 34-year-olds in 100 metro areas across the U.S. It then calculated how much of that income would have to go to mortgage payments, property taxes and insurance on a median-priced home in the area, given a 10% down payment.

For Denver millennials, the calculation works out to 34.2% of income (based on median home value of around $314,009).

The bad news is that this is outside of the customarily recommended percentage. Experts usually advise homebuyers to spend no more than 31% of household income on mortgage and other core home expenses. The good news, however, is that income for Denver millennial households is expected to rise 1% per year, “making payments affordable within 33 months,” according to the Post. “At the end of a 30-year mortgage, payments would consume only 13.6% of income.”

Denver ranks among 17 metro areas where millennials need to stretch to make the math work, but where income growth will correct the issue relatively quickly. This contrasts with high-priced markets where income growth can’t compensate for the cost of admission, including San Francisco and San Jose, CA.

Among the most affordable markets for millennials: Detroit, MI; Birmingham, AL, Pittsburgh, OH, and Akron, OH, where payments range from under 15% to 16% of income.

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