The cost of renting a two- or three-bedroom unit in Cortez has dropped noticeably in the past four years, according to a housing report released this month.
The drop contrasts sharply with rental rates in neighboring La Plata County, which saw a 20% rise in rent for a two-bedroom unit in the past four years. Elsewhere in Montezuma County, rental rates remained more stable in Mancos and Dolores.
Overall median home prices countywide, however, saw a rise – going up from $171,000 in 2014 to $217,500 in 2018, according to the report.
The report by the Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado highlights 2018 prices and how much residents need to earn to afford a home.
One purpose of the report, the district said, was to look at housing stability in the area.
“Stable housing provides a platform where households can attend to the needs of children, pursue educational and career goals, take care of their sick and elderly, become members of a neighborhood and conduct other personal and social activities,” the report says.
CortezIn Cortez, the monthly cost of renting a one-bedroom unit was $690, just above the 2015 amount of $683. The rents for both two and three-bedroom units showed a sizable decrease, though: the two-bedroom average went down from $1,172 in 2015 to $900 in 2018, while the average rent for a three-bedroom unit dropped from $1,493 in 2015 to $1,225.
In order to afford a three-bedroom unit in Cortez, someone would ideally be earning an annual income of at least $49,000, according to Region 9, which based its calculations on the general guideline that renters can spend 30% of their monthly income on housing.
The Cortez median home price rose over the past few years, however, going from $147,250 in 2014 to $155,000 in 2018. Annual income needed to qualify for a home loan for a median-priced home is $30,300, according to Region 9 data.
DoloresDolores rental costs were a different scene, however. Monthly rent for a one-bedroom unit rose from $475 in 2015 to $650 in 2018, rent for a two-bedroom rental unit dropped from $800 to $750 last year, and the rent for a three-bedroom unit rose from $948 to $1,000 per month.
To pay rent for a three-bedroom Dolores unit, a person or household should earn at least $40,000 per year, the Region 9 report said.
The median home price in Dolores dropped. In 2014, a median home in Dolores cost $230,000, while in 2018 that amount stood at $210,000. At this price, the qualifying annual income for a home loan would be $41,057, according to the report.
MancosRent in Mancos went up for one- and two-bedroom units, and down for three-bedroom units. The rental price for a one-bedroom unit was $700 in 2015 and $850 in 2018, while rent for a two-bedroom unit went up from $925 to $972. Three-bedroom rental rates dropped from $1,500 in 2015 to $1,200 last year.
Affording rent for a three-bedroom unit in Mancos would require an annual income of $48,000, according to Region 9.
The median home price in Mancos went up too, rising from $202,500 in 2014 to $222,225 last year, with a qualifying annual income of $43,414.