Durango Telegraph - Detailing the influence of second homes: Region 9 initiates study
Detailing the influence of second homes: Region 9 initiates study

One group is currently taking a hard look at the second-home phenomenon in Southwest Colorado. The Region 9 Economic Development District has kicked off a study on the economic impact of second homes.

Donna Graves, a research consultant with Region 9, said that the spread of part-time residences prompted the study. She noted that second homes take up

large amounts of land in both La Plata and Archuleta counties, areas where developable land is already in short supply. In addition, the second-home market has driven up the cost of housing. First, the study hopes to uncover how many second homes there are in Region 9, which includes La Plata, Archuleta, Montezuma, San Juan and Dolores counties.

“We’re not going to be looking so much at growth,” Graves said. “We’re trying to get a handle on how many properties are owned by people from out of the area. I’m still trying to get a handle on those numbers, but there are a lot of them. Let’s put it that way.”

Graves explained that the study will also go a step further. It is hoped that it will reveal how second homes affect the

communities, job and housing markets and local economies of each of the counties.

“We’re trying to pin down the economic and social effects of part-time residents, both the positives and the negatives,” she said.

Preliminary results from the study are expected by this fall.

– Will Sands

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