EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. - Affording the home you want, is getting harder and harder to achieve.
And yet, the Pikes Peak housing market remains the more affordable option, compared to Denver.
Sherri Bridges – and a lot of other people – have figured it out. It’s for that very reason, she and her husband chose to live in Monument. She drives to Denver for work in the medical field.
To compensate for the commute, however, she leaves early in the morning – 6:45 – but adjusting her work schedule allows her to avoid the congestion that often defines I-25.
According to the Colorado State Demographer, 54,000 other people also choose to live in the Pikes Peak Region, and drive in the Denver Metro area for work – and that figure is likely low: those numbers are from 2010, the most recent available. 46,000 live in the Denver area and commute into the Pikes Peak Region.
“We were able to get more home for the money down here,” Bridges says, her morning coffee gurgling on the counter. And, it did: they were able to buy a six-bed, three-bath home plus two-and-a-half acres much more affordable than similar properties in the Mile High City.
The average price for a home in the Pikes Peak area is $284,000; the average price for a home in Denver is $425,000.
And, that’s not all: just to qualify for a home in Colorado Springs, a buyer must make $52,593; in Denver, $78,556, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Perhaps that’s why the number of homes sold in El Paso County is nearly double that sold in Denver this year. The rate of appreciation in both markets is increasing at the same rate.
But realtors warn El Paso County might not always be a more affordable market.
“If Denver becomes not so affordable, and people start moving towards Colorado Springs, it could be a matter of a year or two before they catch up,” says Kelly Moye with the Colorado Association of Realtors.