Rent prices in DenverRents in metro Denver are expected to continue to rise in 2017. The pricing pressure in the metro area will likely push cost increases in outlying areas.

As housing continues to eat away a larger share paychecks, more people in Colorado will be forced to make tough decisions about household spending.

The Denver Post recently reported that rent in Denver is $2,013 a month, according to the Zillow Rent Index. It’s the highest of any metropolitan area that’s not set along the coast. Chicago came in at $1,643, Dallas at $1,543, and Phoenix at $1,247 a month. Zillow’s figures include both apartments and single-family homes.

Denver Skyline

Denver Skyline

Metro Denver’s rents are expected to rise 5.9 percent in 2017 after jumping 4.1 percent this year, the Zillow report projects.

As rents rise, these prices put an even bigger pinch on Colorado residents struggling to make ends meet. The pressure in Denver is pushing people to move to outlying areas such as Elizabeth, Bailey, and Black Hawk. Rents in all three of those communities are projected to jump in 2017 as a result of the pressure in the Denver-metro area.

In late 2014, The Denver Post reported that people in Colorado need to earn $35 an hour to keep pace with rental rates. That Zillow analysis equates to earning $70,880 annually. The numbers were derived by the suggestion that housing costs shouldn’t exceed about a third of a person’s income before taxes.

The pressure to pay for housing is likely to result in many families struggling even more to pay for child care, food, clothing, utilities, transportation, and more. When people face these hardships it can translate into less productivity on the job – despite the fact that their employment is critical for financial survival.

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