Finding a home to purchase in metro Denver and even Colorado Springs has been getting harder and harder for individuals and professionals like teachers, first responders, and other service workers. As of April 2017, only 29% of the homes listed on the metro Denver market were affordable to someone that earns the median wage of a first responder, which was $70,790 in 2016, according to the United States Labor of Statistics.
By 2017, the median age for first responders in metro Denver rose to $75,140, a 6.1% increase. Although this seems like a step in the right direction, the median listing price for homes rose 11.4%, an even faster rate. Right now, the median price for a home in metro Denver sits at $529,000, according to a Trulia report. Only 18.6% of homes listed are affordable for someone with the median wage of a first responder.
For this reason, developers are now looking into modular construction. Developers expect work to begin in July this year for a mixed-use, 24-unit project on Tennyson Street. The housing at this project will be for sale. Each unit will be built in a factory in Texas and trucked up to Denver when it is complete.
The units will be priced under $400,000 and are expected to be marketed to young professionals and first-time home buyers that are struggling to find options in a market that seriously lacks inventory and has prices that don’t stop climbing.
“It’s really about being able to deliver a high-quality product at a faster rate than traditional construction and trying to deliver a more affordable component to the city,” Courtney McRickard of 063 Design and Development said.
They estimate that it will take about a year for this project to go from the design stage to completion. According to FMI’s 2013 Prefabrication and Modularization in Construction Survey, 40% of contractors considered their modular and prefab construction capabilities to be part of their company’s strategic initiative. Modular construction has the potential to make a huge difference, especially in a region like metro Denver.
“We’re hitting places that are being hit hard by the housing crisis and the lack of supply of housing,” Matt McPheely, the company’s head of sales, said. “We’re taking a manufacturing approach to housing, which enables high precision and scalability. We’re giving you everything you need and nothing you don’t.”