10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Colorado For 2019


We used science and data to determine which cities in Colorado that will put a big dent in your wallet.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the most expensive places to live in Colorado.

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Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Colorado does this very well. Families love the Centennial State’s beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state — and that’s how we’re going to help you.

These are the places in Colorado that cost a pretty penny — the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Colorado for 2019.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Colorado? That would be Boulder.

So hopefully Brush (the cheapest place to live in Colorado) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Colorado and the most expensive cities in the country:

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Colorado For 2019

Boulder, CO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 106,271
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 9.4x (1st most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 45.5x (5th most expensive)
More on Boulder: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Boulder is the home rule municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Boulder County, and the 11th most populous municipality in the U.S. state of Colorado. Boulder is located at the base of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of 5,430 feet above sea level. The city is 25 miles northwest of Denver.

The median income in Boulder comes in at $64,183 and the median home value is $600,400 for 2019.

Aspen, CO

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 7,097
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 8.7x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.8x (21st most expensive)
More on Aspen: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Aspen is the home rule municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Pitkin County, Colorado, United States. Its population was 6,658 at the 2010 United States Census. Aspen is in a remote area of the Rocky Mountains’ Sawatch Range and Elk Mountains, along the Roaring Fork River at an elevation just below 8,000 feet above sea level on the Western Slope, 11 miles west of the Continental Divide.

The median income in Aspen comes in at $64,594 and the median home value is $563,900 for 2019.

Vail, CO

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 5,425
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 9.2x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 52.1x (25th most expensive)
More on Vail: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The Town of Vail is a Home Rule Municipality in Eagle County, Colorado, United States. The population of the town was 5,305 in 2010. The town was established and built as the base village to Vail Ski Resort, with which it was originally conceived. Vail Ski Resort’s first season was in December 1962; it is the largest ski mountain in Colorado.

The median income in Vail comes in at $73,981 and the median home value is $677,100 for 2019.

Carbondale, CO

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 6,632
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.7x (11th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 49.8x (11th most expensive)
More on Carbondale: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The Town of Carbondale is a Home Rule Municipality in Garfield County, Colorado, United States. The town population was 6427 at the 2010 United States Census. The town is located in the Roaring Fork Valley, downstream from Aspen and upstream from the mouth of the Roaring Fork River at Glenwood Springs. The town proper sits on the south bank of the river, at the confluence of the Crystal River. Carbondale’s horizon is dominated by the 12,953ft tall Mount Sopris several miles to the south of town.

The median income in Carbondale comes in at $68,217 and the median home value is $458,000 for 2019.

Durango, CO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 17,986
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 7.1x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 50.6x (14th most expensive)
More on Durango: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The City of Durango is the county seat and the most populous municipality of La Plata County, Colorado, United States. It is home to Fort Lewis College. The United States Census Bureau reported a population of 16,887 in the 2010 census.

The median income in Durango comes in at $60,521 and the median home value is $427,600 for 2019.

Golden, CO

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 20,365
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 7.2x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.5x (20th most expensive)
More on Golden: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Golden is the Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat of Jefferson County, Colorado, United States. Golden lies along Clear Creek at the base of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Founded during the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush on 16 June 1859, the mining camp was originally named Golden City in honor of Thomas L. Golden. Golden City served as the capital of the provisional Territory of Jefferson from 1860 to 1861, and capital of the official Territory of Colorado from 1862 to 1867. In 1867, the territorial capital was moved about 12 miles east to Denver City. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the city population was 18,867 in 2010.

The median income in Golden comes in at $61,918 and the median home value is $446,700 for 2019.

Steamboat Springs, CO

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 12,520
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 8.2x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.0x (27th most expensive)
More on Steamboat Springs: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The City of Steamboat Springs, often shortened to just Steamboat, is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Routt County, Colorado, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 12,088.

The median income in Steamboat Springs comes in at $63,393 and the median home value is $516,900 for 2019.

Edgewater, CO

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 5,299
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.1x (12th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 49.1x (10th most expensive)
More on Edgewater: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The City of Edgewater is a Home Rule Municipality located in Jefferson County, Colorado, United States. Edgewater is located immediately west of Denver, in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population is 5,170. Edgewater is surrounded by Denver to the east, Lakewood to the south and west, and Wheat Ridge to the north.

The median income in Edgewater comes in at $50,536 and the median home value is $306,000 for 2019.

Avon, CO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 6,503
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 6)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 7.0x (8th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.1x (34th most expensive)
More on Avon: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Avon comes in at $61,791 and the median home value is $431,800 for 2019.

Glenwood Springs, CO

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 9,850
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.8x (13th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 52.0x (23rd most expensive)
More on Glenwood Springs: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The City of Glenwood Springs is the Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Garfield County, Colorado, United States. Glenwood Springs is located at the confluence of the Roaring Fork River and the Colorado River, threading together the Roaring Fork Valley and a series of smaller towns up and down the Colorado River. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 9,614.

The median income in Glenwood Springs comes in at $61,044 and the median home value is $356,400 for 2019.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Centennial State For 2019

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Colorado
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it’s actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2013-2017 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Colorado to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a “Cost of Living Index” by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 75 places in Colorado that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the highest cost of living in Colorado according to the data is Boulder.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Colorado For 2019

Well there you have it, the places in Colorado that have the highest cost of living, with Boulder ranking as the most expensive city in the Centennial State.

Here’s a look at the most affordable cities in Colorado according to the data:

  1. Brush
  2. Fort Morgan
  3. Craig

For more Colorado reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Colorado

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Boulder 3.33 106,271 9.4x 45.5x
2 Aspen 10.0 7,097 8.7x 51.8x
3 Vail 10.0 5,425 9.2x 52.1x
4 Carbondale 11.33 6,632 6.7x 49.8x
5 Durango 11.67 17,986 7.1x 50.6x
6 Golden 12.67 20,365 7.2x 51.5x
7 Steamboat Springs 13.0 12,520 8.2x 53.0x
8 Edgewater 18.33 5,299 6.1x 49.1x
9 Avon 18.67 6,503 7.0x 54.1x
10 Glenwood Springs 19.33 9,850 5.8x 52.0x
11 Fort Collins 20.67 159,150 5.1x 50.5x
12 Salida 22.67 5,565 6.9x 51.4x
13 Denver 23.67 678,467 5.4x 53.1x
14 Estes Park 25.33 6,248 6.8x 60.1x
15 Greenwood Village 26.67 15,397 7.1x 74.6x
16 Wheat Ridge 27.0 31,162 5.8x 54.2x
17 Lakewood 27.0 151,411 4.9x 52.8x
18 Louisville 27.67 20,319 5.2x 63.8x
19 Cherry Hills Village 31.0 6,542 5.3x 109.5x
20 Broomfield 32.0 64,283 4.2x 57.5x
21 Englewood 32.0 33,155 4.8x 53.8x
22 Lafayette 32.33 27,440 4.5x 59.3x
23 Gunnison 32.67 6,250 4.8x 51.4x
24 Aurora 33.67 357,323 4.0x 50.2x
25 Littleton 33.67 45,848 4.8x 61.9x
26 Montrose 34.33 18,918 4.4x 50.9x
27 Lone Tree 34.33 13,430 4.7x 76.0x
28 Alamosa 35.33 9,675 4.8x 51.5x
29 Superior 36.0 12,879 4.1x 69.5x
30 Grand Junction 37.0 60,882 4.4x 53.9x
31 Longmont 37.0 91,730 4.4x 58.3x
32 Woodland Park 38.0 7,287 4.4x 61.1x
33 Sheridan 38.33 6,018 3.8x 38.0x
34 Delta 38.33 8,739 3.9x 46.2x
35 Arvada 38.67 115,320 4.1x 62.6x
36 Loveland 39.33 74,125 4.2x 56.7x
37 Manitou Springs 39.67 5,263 4.9x 73.9x
38 John 41.0 14,386 3.3x 51.8x
39 Fountain 41.33 28,799 3.3x 47.6x
40 Lochbuie 41.33 5,675 3.4x 47.8x
41 Eagle 41.67 6,711 3.9x 80.2x
42 Westminster 41.67 111,895 3.9x 56.1x
43 Centennial 41.67 108,448 3.6x 64.8x
44 Fruita 42.0 13,039 3.7x 52.1x
45 Gypsum 42.33 6,926 3.9x 65.0x
46 Colorado Springs 42.67 450,000 4.0x 57.4x
47 Erie 44.0 22,019 3.5x 66.2x
48 Cortez 44.0 8,579 4.0x 53.4x
49 Thornton 45.0 132,310 3.6x 55.7x
50 Windsor 45.33 23,386 3.8x 73.6x
51 Pueblo 46.0 109,122 3.3x 47.6x
52 Castle Pines 46.0 10,623 3.5x 89.9x
53 Northglenn 47.0 38,473 3.5x 54.6x
54 Castle Rock 47.0 57,274 3.5x 70.7x
55 Commerce City 47.33 52,905 3.7x 60.4x
56 Monument 47.67 6,760 3.2x 62.2x
57 Brighton 47.67 38,016 3.6x 58.5x
58 Evans 48.0 19,967 3.2x 51.3x
59 Parker 48.33 51,125 3.4x 72.1x
60 Berthoud 49.33 6,018 4.1x 75.4x
61 La Junta 49.33 6,900 2.8x 43.0x
62 Greeley 49.67 100,760 3.8x 60.0x
63 Federal Heights 51.0 12,449 1.2x 37.2x
64 Rifle 53.0 9,526 3.6x 64.5x
65 Frederick 54.0 11,397 3.2x 64.9x
66 Milliken 55.0 6,362 2.7x 54.7x
67 Firestone 55.0 12,282 3.2x 68.5x
68 Trinidad 56.0 8,054 3.3x 54.5x
69 Sterling 57.67 13,961 3.2x 53.9x
70 Lamar 61.0 7,627 2.1x 54.0x
71 Fort Lupton 62.0 7,829 3.1x 62.8x
72 Wellington 62.33 7,941 2.8x 70.9x
73 Craig 64.0 8,903 3.2x 69.9x
74 Fort Morgan 64.67 11,251 3.0x 63.0x
75 Brush 67.33 5,406 2.5x 64.8x

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.