Vacancies, rent up for Denver-area rental homes

Date: Jun. 26th, 2009
Contact: Denver Business Journal

Vacancies and rents in metro Denver’s rental housing market increased in this year’s first quarter from the year-prior period, according to a report released Thursday by the Colorado Division of Housing.

Vacancies of for-rent single-family homes, condominiums, townhomes, duplexes and other small housing increased to 3.6 percent during the first period from 2.7 percent for the same quarter of 2008. But vacancies were down in the first period from 4.9 percent in the fourth quarter of ’08.

The housing division doesn’t include apartments in its rental housing survey, but does produce a separate report for apartments.

Metrowide average rent for rental housing increased to $1,004.44 in the first quarter from $984.61 year over year. Fourth-quarter 2008 average rent was $995.24.

All of the six counties tracked by the housing division had higher vacancies in this year’s first quarter year over year, except Adams and Boulder/Broomfield counties. (While other agencies separate Boulder and Broomfield counties, giving the metro area seven counties, the housing division combines those two northwestern counties.)

Vacancy rates for the first period by county include: Adams (5.1 percent), Arapahoe (2.9 percent), Boulder/Broomfield (2.1 percent), Denver (4 percent), Douglas (2.4 percent) and Jefferson (3.8 percent).

From 2008’s final quarter to this year’s first period, all counties reported drops in vacancy rate.

Average first-quarter housing rents were highest in the Boulder/Broomfield area, at $1,392.43, and lowest in Denver County, at $932.53.

Average rents rose in all counties, year over year, except Arapahoe and Douglas counties. Arapahoe County reported an average rent of $997.83, and Douglas County had an average rent of $1,374.94.

Jefferson County’s first-quarter average rent was $980.60, and Adams County’s was $1,064.17.

Rents decreased from the last quarter of 2008 to this year’s first quarter only in Douglas, Jefferson and Boulder/Broomfield counties, according to the report.

The rental-housing survey was compiled by Gordon Von Stroh, University of Denver business professor, for the housing division. Assistance was provided by the National Association of Property Managers, Apartment Association of Metro Denver, Institute of Real Estate as well as individual property owners and managers.