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press-rentsriseMetro Denver’s apartment market continued to experience tight inventory and rising rents in the first quarter, but relief is expected in coming months as a surge of new supply hits the market, according to a report Monday from the Apartment Association of Metro Denver and the University of Denver.

“The apartment industry is working feverishly to deliver more residences to meet demand, but practical hurdles like a shortage of framers have resulted in construction delays,” Mary Wessler, a regional vice president with ConAm Colorado, said in a statement.

The metro Denver apartment vacancy rate in the first quarter was 5.1 percent, down from 5.2 percent in the fourth quarter and above the 4.6 percent rate in the first quarter a year earlier, according to the AAMD Vacancy and Rent Survey.

The average metro area apartment rent in the first quarter was $1,073.63, compared with $ 1,041.61 in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the survey.

In inflation-adjusted terms, Denver apartment rents are below 2001 levels. The average rent that year, in current dollars, would be $1,088 a month.

The expectation is also that rents will face downward pressure as units from more than 70 new apartment commmunities in development hit the market in coming months.