Available metro Denver apartments remain scarce, with the apartment vacancy rate in the area falling to 4.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with 5.4 percent in the same quarter of 2011.

According to a report released Thursday by the Apartment Association of Metro Denver and the Colorado Division of Housing, 2012’s fourth-quarter vacancy rate was the lowest reported during the fourth quarter of any year since it reached 4.7 percent in 2000.

Ron Throupe, a professor of real estate at the Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management at the University of Denver, said the vacancy rate over the past 13 quarters has fallen when compared with the same quarter a year earlier.

The last time the quarterly vacancy rate rose year over year was during the third quarter of 2009, said Throupe, who authored the report.