To afford a median-priced rental in metro Denver, earners need to make $35 an hour, or almost 4½ times Colorado's minimum wage, according to an analysis by Zillow released on Thursday.
Colorado's minimum wage is currently $8 an hour and will increase to $8.23 on Jan. 1.
The analysis said that a person spending the median metro Denver rent — $1,772 per month — would need to earn $70,880 a year, or $35 an hour, to abide by the rule of thumb that annual housing costs should not exceed 30 percent of a person's net income.
Lake George, in Park County, demands the lowest hourly wage, $24, to meet the median rent of $1,175. Cherry Hills Village is the most expensive market, where the median rent of $4,681 per month demands an hourly wage of $94, the report said.
The analysis found that nationwide, solo-earners making the federal minimum wage of $7.25 cannot afford a typical rental property in any of the approximately 15,100 cities and towns that were subject to the Zillow study without spending more than 30 percent of their annual net income on rent. Zillow analyzed rents and wages as of Oct. 31.
Households with at least two minimum wage-earners can afford to rent a typical home in just 135 cities and towns analyzed by Zillow.
Zillow, which has kept a close eye on the metro area's soaring rents, said that in the city of Denver proper, the minimum hourly wage required for a single earner renting a median-price house or apartment would be $35.
In Centennial, a single renter would need to earn $44 an hour, or $87,000 a year, to afford the city's median rent of of $2,100 without exceeding the 30 percent limit.
In Genesee, a single renter would need to earn $56 an hour, or $112,840 a year, to afford the $2,821 monthly median rent.
And in Lone Tree, a single renter would need to earn $59 an hour, or $117,160 a year, to afford the median rent of $2,029.
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