Homeownership Rates Across The Nation Are Rising, But Not In Denver

May 2, 2018
Chart: Homeownership Rates 2005-18

Even as homeownership rises nationwide, the rates across Colorado and in Denver continue to decline.

Homeownership has trended downward across the state but especially in metro Denver, according to the Census Bureau. Mile High City homeownership rates have fallen from more than 72 percent in 2005 to 53 percent today.

Denver's homeownership woes are due to a number of factors. The population moving to the city skews younger and unprepared for homeownership. So, transplants fill thousands of new apartments near downtown instead.

That focus on apartments is also part of the problem. These new, almost exclusively for-rent apartment buildings drive Denver housing construction. With so few homes on the market, the cost to buy a house is on the rise: Metro home prices rose 8.4 percent this February compared to the same month in 2017.

That supply imbalance, coupled with the younger population's lower wages and high student debt, will likely keep the homeownership rate low for some time.