Denver rents have nothing on ski towns

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Should we all just move to Nebraska or something? Another report, this time from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, finds Colorado is the 14th most expensive state for renters. (Nebraska was 42nd.)

Naturally, the Denver metro area was among the state’s top five most expensive regions. But four other counties come in ahead of the city.

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On average, Colorado renters need to earn an hourly wage of $21.12 to afford a two-bedroom rental. In the most expensive areas of the state, you need to earn about $5.69 more per hour.

“Afford” means not paying more than a third of your income for housing. Lots of people pay more than that, but the federal government considers them cost-burdened.

Three out of the five most expensive area are counties where there’s a major ski resort: Pitkin, San Miguel and Summit. Last year, Colorado Public Radio examined how high rents in these winter recreation areas hurt seasonal workers and found that many choose to live together or commit to a long, dangerous commute.

Back in the foothills, you need almost three more dollars an hour to pay for a two-bedroom rental in Boulder than in Denver.

If all this rent talk has you itching to move, rural counties without ski resorts cost less to rent in. The lowest hourly wage needed to earn a two-bedroom rental in the state is $12.65.