Colorado housing prices would have to drop 32% to match the “affordability” of 2015 |

Colorado housing prices would have to drop 32% to match the “affordability” of 2015

The median sales price for a house in 2015 was $285,000

Tamara Chuang
The Colorado Sun
Houses and trash bins are seen in Denver’s Sloan Lake neighborhood on July 14, 2022
Olivia Sun/The Colorado Sun via Report for America

Back in 2015, the median sales price for a house in Colorado was $285,000, according to data from the Colorado Association of Realtors. Between January and September, the median price averaged $575,000. 

Housing prices are already much higher now than they were seven years ago, but combine that with today’s higher mortgage interest rates (7.1% for a 30-year fixed loan, as of Friday’s Mortgage News Daily calculation versus just under 4% in 2015) plus consumer incomes that haven’t kept up with inflation or home prices, and 2015 was a pretty sweet year to buy a house, according to the CSU’s Colorado Futures Center.

Getting back to that affordability would require an average 32% drop in housing prices to get the same share of housing stock to a price that is affordable to the median family income. And that housing price adjustment differs by county, with the value at one end needing to drop about 15% in Huerfano County but closer to 60% in Jackson County. Denver was just below the state’s average price decline adjustment of 32%

“As you can see from the report, it would take pretty considerable drops in values in order for us to get to a level of ‘affordability’ that the state enjoyed back in 2015,” said Phyllis Resnick, the center’s lead economist and executive director. “I use that word in air quotes because I don’t think people thought 2015 was a terribly affordable era. But in retrospect, it actually was because interest rates were almost historically low and the run-up in prices hadn’t happened yet.”

Affordability is also impacted by limited housing supply, added Jennifer Newcomer, the center’s research director.


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