Metro Denver rents continue to rise as supply of apartments increases

July 23, 2014

Denver Post

Nearly 1,300 new apartments were added to the metro Denver rental inventory during the second quarter, but rents still edged up and vacancy rates declined.

Average monthly rents hit $1,117, up from $1,073 in the first quarter and $1,041 in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the Denver Metro Vacancy & Rent Survey.

Pricey new units in some markets, plus the low vacancy rate — 4.7 percent, down from 5.1 percent in the first quarter — influenced the increase, according to the report by the Apartment Association of Metro Denver and the University of Denver.

Rental discounts and concessions used to lure tenants helped moderate the price increase, said apartment association vice president Mark Williams. Concessions averaged 9.3 percent in the second quarter, up from 6.9 percent in the first quarter.

He also noted that rents averaged about $800 in 2002, but when adjusted for inflation, “rents have been essentially flat over this period.”

The metro area added 1,261 new apartment units in the second quarter, bringing the total inventory to 298,461 units, according to the survey by Ron L. Throupe of the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business and Jennifer Von Stroh of Colorado Economic and Management Associates.

But that’s not enough to meet demand, said Apartment Realty Advisors principal Jeff Hawks.

“The state of Colorado believes that we will create seven jobs every hour in 2014,” Hawks said in a statement. “Five Colorado residents turn 20 years old every hour, but we are only delivering one new apartment unit per hour.”