In 2015, Colorado’s population grew by almost 102,000 people. In that same year, the state added just 25,143 new homes, condos, and apartments. If these numbers sound dangerous, you’re right—the state is unable to accommodate the vast and quickly-growing population of newcomers.
This discrepancy is most visible in the Colorado housing market. Anyone looking to purchase or rent a home, especially along the Front Range in the north, has experienced housing-related headaches—sometimes, debilitating migraines. Apartment rent hikes outstrip income gains, a record low number of homes for sale have triggered heated bidding wars, home price gains are some of the highest in the nation, and gentrification has turned once diverse and affordable neighborhoods into spots for wealthy newcomers.
As a result, ad hoc housing units have become more popular—basement rooms, tiny houses, and overcrowded apartments can bandage the situation, but, at best, these are only stop-gap measures. If parts of the state remain at this level of popularity, as with the northern Front Range, Colorado is destined to become another California—housing shortages will become chronic and the high costs will be entrenched.
Though potential buyers in Colorado should be worried, those looking to sell homes are seeing some of the best real estate prices in the state’s history. The entrenched buyers’ market has led to record-breaking home sales and cutthroat bidding wars.