According to the first quarter Denver Metro Area Apartment Vacancy and Rent Survey released today, apartment vacancies are at 5.7 percent, down from 6.2 percent last quarter and 6.8 percent this quarter last year. Median rent is up $44.09 from last quarter, $1,345.58 currently compared to $1,301.49 last quarter and $1,274.34 this same quarter last year.

“This past fall we saw rents seasonally decline slightly more than past years causing some to think the cycle was over,” says Ron Throupe, associate professor of real estate and construction management at the Daniels College of Business and author of the report. “A closer look reveals a historically high year for absorption of units (11,056) taking pressure off new supply concerns.”

As Throupe explains, “’behavioral economics’ may have played a role, with owners attempting to lease up last fall to hedge against the upcoming spring-summer season of new unit lease-up concerns, potentially giving more rent concession than is typical. This appears to explain some of the current quarter with the average rent bouncing back to set a new high of $1,382.76, (prior high was $1,370.96, in the second quarter of 2016). Vacancy lowering 0.5 percent to 5.7 percent and economic vacancy slightly up to 12.5 percent. Once again we had strong absorption numbers with 4,664 units absorbed for the current quarter.”

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, published by the Apartment Association of Metro Denver and sponsored by The Colorado Dept. of Housing.

To obtain a copy of Throupe’s paper, contact Kristal Griffith Kristal.griffith@du.edu. 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 www.aamdhq.org.