The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Colorado For 2021


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 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the most expensive places to live in Colorado.

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 2021.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Colorado? That would be Boulder.
the 2015-2019 American Community Survey for the 78 places in Colorado with more than 5,000 people.

Here are the 10 most expensive places to live in Colorado for 2021:

  1. Boulder
  2. Vail
  3. Aspen
  4. Carbondale
  5. Edgewater
  6. Golden
  7. Durango
  8. Steamboat Springs
  9. Salida
  10. Avon

What's the most expensive place to live in Colorado? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Boulder is the most expensive place to live in Colorado.

So hopefully Craig (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 2021

1. BoulderBoulder, CO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 106,392
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 10.1x (most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 44.7x (4th most expensive)
More on Boulder: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Boulder comes in at $69,520 and the median home value is $700,000 for 2021.

2. VailVail, CO

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 5,479
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 9.6x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 50.7x (19th most expensive)
More on Vail: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Vail comes in at $80,987 and the median home value is $773,700 for 2021.

3. AspenAspen, CO

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 7,431
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 8.1x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 52.2x (23rd most expensive)
More on Aspen: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Aspen comes in at $78,292 and the median home value is $636,400 for 2021.

4. CarbondaleCarbondale, CO

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,785
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.1x (15th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 46.4x (7th most expensive)
More on Carbondale: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Carbondale comes in at $81,012 and the median home value is $496,300 for 2021.

5. EdgewaterEdgewater, CO

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 5,328
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 7.3x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 47.0x (8th most expensive)
More on Edgewater: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Edgewater comes in at $56,028 and the median home value is $408,500 for 2021.

6. GoldenGolden, CO

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 20,693
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 7.2x (7th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 52.2x (24th most expensive)
More on Golden: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Golden comes in at $72,349 and the median home value is $522,200 for 2021.

7. DurangoDurango, CO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 18,588
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 7.0x (9th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 52.5x (28th most expensive)
More on Durango: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Durango comes in at $66,160 and the median home value is $463,700 for 2021.

8. Steamboat SpringsSteamboat Springs, CO

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 12,928
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 7.5x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 56.3x (42nd most expensive)
More on Steamboat Springs: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Steamboat Springs comes in at $77,419 and the median home value is $584,200 for 2021.

9. SalidaSalida, CO

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 5,791
Rank Last Year: 30 (Up 21)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 7.0x (10th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 48.3x (10th most expensive)
More on Salida: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Salida comes in at $46,875 and the median home value is $328,200 for 2021.

10. AvonAvon, CO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 6,539
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.3x (13th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.5x (35th most expensive)
More on Avon: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Avon comes in at $76,303 and the median home value is $477,900 for 2021.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Centennial State For 2021

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 2015-2019 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 78 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. You can download the data here.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Colorado For 2021

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. Craig
  2. La Junta
  3. Fort Morgan

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 3.0 106,392 10.1x 44.7x
2 Vail 8.0 5,479 9.6x 50.7x
3 Aspen 10.33 7,431 8.1x 52.2x
4 Carbondale 11.67 6,785 6.1x 46.4x
5 Edgewater 13.0 5,328 7.3x 47.0x
6 Golden 14.33 20,693 7.2x 52.2x
7 Durango 17.67 18,588 7.0x 52.5x
8 Steamboat Springs 18.33 12,928 7.5x 56.3x
9 Salida 20.67 5,791 7.0x 48.3x
10 Avon 20.67 6,539 6.3x 54.5x
11 Fort Collins 21.67 165,609 5.6x 48.9x
12 Wheat Ridge 22.0 31,331 6.7x 52.2x
13 Lakewood 23.33 155,146 5.5x 49.0x
14 Gypsum 23.67 7,173 4.6x 45.6x
15 Englewood 24.33 34,259 5.8x 50.1x
16 Denver 24.33 705,576 5.7x 52.3x
17 Glenwood Springs 25.0 9,915 6.1x 55.3x
18 Greenwood Village 27.67 15,738 7.2x 73.9x
19 Gunnison 28.0 6,403 6.0x 47.0x
20 Lafayette 28.33 28,742 5.1x 55.7x
21 Louisville 28.67 20,860 5.7x 64.1x
22 Estes Park 29.33 6,377 7.5x 65.9x
23 Glendale 29.33 5,177 4.7x 41.9x
24 Sheridan 30.0 6,089 5.1x 36.1x
25 Cherry Hills Village 30.0 6,647 6.9x 113.6x
26 Northglenn 32.33 38,973 4.5x 48.4x
27 Littleton 32.67 47,989 5.4x 59.1x
28 Lone Tree 33.0 12,923 5.3x 69.8x
29 Eagle 33.33 6,856 5.4x 68.5x
30 Longmont 34.0 94,445 4.9x 55.4x
31 Aurora 34.33 369,111 4.5x 49.0x
32 Erie 34.67 24,223 3.9x 54.9x
33 Superior 36.0 13,077 4.5x 66.2x
34 Broomfield 36.33 67,886 4.3x 57.4x
35 Westminster 36.67 112,962 4.5x 53.2x
36 Manitou Springs 37.0 5,283 5.9x 66.0x
37 Loveland 38.0 76,972 4.6x 54.1x
38 Arvada 39.0 118,746 4.5x 62.4x
39 Montrose 39.33 19,238 4.6x 51.1x
40 Berthoud 40.67 7,191 4.4x 56.4x
41 Centennial 41.67 110,218 4.0x 62.8x
42 Thornton 41.67 136,868 4.1x 53.1x
43 Alamosa 42.33 9,441 4.7x 52.5x
44 Fountain 43.67 29,784 3.5x 45.4x
45 Fruita 45.17 13,236 3.8x 50.1x
46 Evans 45.17 20,533 3.8x 48.7x
47 Grand Junction 46.0 62,062 4.5x 56.2x
48 Castle Rock 47.0 62,417 3.8x 71.4x
49 Colorado Springs 47.0 464,871 4.2x 57.2x
50 Cortez 47.0 8,675 4.0x 52.1x
51 Woodland Park 47.17 7,555 4.2x 61.1x
52 Castle Pines 47.33 10,591 3.8x 92.7x
53 Greeley 47.33 105,888 4.3x 57.2x
54 Commerce City 47.33 56,448 4.2x 59.9x
55 Lochbuie 47.67 6,388 3.5x 51.4x
56 Parker 47.67 54,352 3.8x 68.9x
57 Brighton 48.0 39,836 4.1x 57.9x
58 Delta 49.0 8,829 4.1x 53.9x
59 Windsor 50.0 26,806 4.1x 78.2x
60 Dacono 51.33 5,534 4.0x 57.8x
61 Monument 52.67 7,398 3.6x 67.6x
62 Federal Heights 52.67 12,745 1.4x 37.6x
63 Pueblo 53.67 110,841 3.5x 50.6x
64 Brush 54.33 5,395 3.6x 52.9x
65 Wellington 55.17 9,272 3.5x 62.0x
66 Trinidad 55.33 8,080 3.6x 53.0x
67 Firestone 55.33 14,033 3.5x 64.9x
68 John 57.0 14,910 3.4x 62.9x
69 Frederick 58.67 12,767 3.4x 71.5x
70 Rifle 60.67 9,650 3.7x 67.4x
71 Fort Lupton 62.67 8,133 3.8x 71.8x
72 Lamar 64.0 7,564 2.4x 55.8x
73 Milliken 64.0 7,185 3.5x 78.0x
74 Eaton 64.0 5,317 3.5x 75.2x
75 Sterling 66.33 14,478 3.0x 58.1x
76 Fort Morgan 66.33 11,377 3.3x 62.7x
77 La Junta 67.0 6,893 2.3x 57.5x
78 Craig 71.0 8,928 3.1x 72.5x

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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.