Durango Real Estate VS Boulder Real Estate

People often comment about the high price of Boulder real estate. I definitely understand that for many of us, it’s a bit of a surprise that the cost of real estate in Boulder has continued to be very high for many years. Have you heard that Durango real estate (that’s Durango Colorado, which is another booming Colorado town) is also pricey and many ‘average’ people can’t afford to buy real estate there either?

If you’ve read my blog recently, you know that the average price of a single family home sold in Boulder in May last year is over $670,000. The average price of a single family home sold in Boulder in May of 2008 was also just over $670,000. The quarterly comparisons for first quarter 2007 versus first quarter 2008 show median prices of sold homes in Boulder much lower in the mid $500’s.

Durango housing prices have been high for years, just as Boulder prices have, but the current complaint from Durango residents is that apparently 72 percent of Durango residents can not afford to buy a home in that town.

The Durango Herald reported that the median price of a home is $350,000 in town. Its report, according to the Boulder Daily Camera pick-up from an AP story, is that many residents have problems paying basic bills.

When you look at those numbers, conventional wisdom would suggest that you’d need a combined family income of about $85,000 or so to buy a home in Durango according to the Herald. With a median family income of just over $60,000 in the town of Durango, it’s not a big surprise that few can afford to buy Durango real estate.

Here’s how Boulder compares according to information I got from Wikipedia, which is the most recent data I could find when searching for Boulder income. According to a 2006 estimate, the median household income in Boulder is $47,577, and the median family income is $89,184. Males have a median income of $41,829 versus $32,100 for females. The per capita income for the city is $31,539. 17.4% of the population and 6.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 10.4% of those under the age of 18 and 6.5% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line. The higher population poverty line is due to the large number of college students living in the area.

I think this is once again a supply and demand problem. He wants to live there, and she does too. But, there’s only so much real estate that is for sale so… price goes up. Isn’t it usually about that simple. Sometimes I hear people say they think there are nefarious forces at work to prevent them from owning real estate in places like Boulder, Durango etc. I believe it’s nothing more than basic economics.


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