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Denver Metro Apartment Vacancy and Rent Report for Quarter 2  

Researchers at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business included a special survey in the second quarter Denver Metro Apartment Vacancy and Rent query. The results show that the amount of non-payment was low, with the majority of respondents saying that less than 5% of tenants did not pay rent.

Rental losses (discounts/concessions, delinquents and bad debt) were at 5.6% compared to 5.7% for the first quarter of 2020. 

“These may be surprising results to some with the concerns of non-payment by renters and potential job losses,” says report author Ron Throupe, associate professor of real estate at the Daniels College of Business. “Many responses to the special survey questions mentioned rent deferral programs in place during these months, illustrating that both locally, and nationally, there has been some slow payment of rents.”

The second quarter report showed a decrease in rent, although demand pressure was evident by a decline in vacancy. The metro Denver apartment market showed an overall quarterly decrease in vacancy to 5.1% from 5.9%, with a year-over-year increase of 0.1% from 5.0%. Vacancy decreased for all counties reported. 

Ron Throupe

While the second quarter has become the quarter where we tend to see the greatest rent increases for the year, the overall average rent decreased $29.99, from $1,535.70 to $1,505.71 from the first quarter results. The year-over-year change from second quarter 2019 ($1,519.80) results in a yearly decrease of $14.09. Median rent declined from first quarter 2020’s $1,475.43 to $1,453.97, for a quarterly change of $21.46.  

The Denver metro apartment market added 1,170 new units with most of those being in Denver County (936). Net absorption was 3,801 units for the second quarter.

The unit turnover percentage was dampened to 3.7% for the quarter, where this figure would typically be expected to range from 4.5% to 5% for spring moves. This is likely a COVID-19 effect, combined with management firms’ not enforcing evictions for non-payment.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and government relief programs expire or are revised, future rent variations may appear, and we’ll continue to track the trends,” Throupe says.

The Denver Metro Area Apartment Vacancy and Rent Survey is conducted by the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business and Colorado Economic and Management Associates. It’s published by the Apartment Association of Metro Denver and sponsored by The Colorado Department of Housing.  

For interviews with Ron Throupe, please contact Kristal Griffith at To obtain a copy of the Denver Metro Area Apartment Vacancy and Rent Survey report, please contact Christopher Dean, vice president of communications for the Apartment Association of Metro Denver, at 303.329.3300, or visit