DENVER — The demand for homes in Denver is there, but more and more homebuyers are finding that owning a single-family home without shared walls isn't possible.
According to the latest Denver Metro Association of Realtors (DMAR) Market Trends report, the median closing price for a detached home in the Denver metro area is $660,000.
"Some of them are going over $100k, and the average person making $20, $25 an hour can't afford it. They don't have the reserves," DMAR chairperson Milford Adams said.
Adams said something needs to change, because the American dream is just that for so many -- a dream.
"We have to figure out how we are going to get these prices down, because wages doesn't line up with the prices," he said.
Even though DMAR's report shows inventory went up by an additional 995 listings from February to March, Adams said the area would have to build 100,000 more homes to balance the market.
His clients end up looking at condos or "buying less."
"This is a good example: a client of mine bought a two-bedroom home even though they need a three-bedroom home, but the basement was unfinished," Adams said. "But it was in the price range that they can qualify for it."
To make things more difficult, first-time homebuyers are competing with Wall Street investment companies buying homes sight unseen to rent out.
"And that's the challenge, because they take inventory off, so somebody that's wanting to buy that house, live in the neighborhood, don't even have the opportunity because they're paying cash, they're closing in two weeks," Adams said. "A lot of them are not doing appraisals. 'We'll just take the property.'"
With that added competition, and the rising prices, Adams said the racial wealth gap is widening too.
"The wealth gap, we're at 35% of homeownership here in Colorado, and that number is dropping," he said. "Now we're the lowest since 1968, when the Fair Housing Act went in place, was at 40%."
There's no lack of construction in Denver, but the majority of it isn't for single-family homes. Adams said that's where the city has to provide incentives.
"You do the math, it doesn't work," he said. "We are in a crisis and we have to take ownership. From our associations to our leadership, our city officials, our legislation -- this is all of our problems."
> Read the full report here:
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