Apartment vacancy rate low, rents high

DENVER – It’s never been so good for the landlords of apartments in Boulder and Broomfield counties, as the vacancy rate for the area has dropped to historic lows and rents have climbed to new highs.

The Apartment Association of Metro Denver and the Colorado Division of Housing released their third-quarter report on rents and vacancy rates Monday.

The report found the vacancy rate for the combined Boulder County and Broomfield area was 2.9 percent, and the average rent climbed to $1,115. Both figures are records for the past 10 years.

Last year during the third quarter, the vacancy rate for the two counties was 4.7 percent, and the rate for the second quarter of 2012 was 3.6 percent. The average rent was $1,031.18 in the third quarter of 2011 and $1,091.12 last quarter.

“Considering that we were already under 5 percent vacancy, this additional drop is significant,´ said Ron Throupe, the report’s author, in a press release. Throupe is a professor of real estate at the Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management at the University of Denver.

“Rent growth hit an 11-year high during the second quarter, but there is still enough demand out there to keep filling up units,” he said.

The apartment vacancy rate in the Denver metro area fell to 4.3 percent in the third quarter, dropping to the lowest vacancy rate recorded in any quarter since the third quarter of 2000, according to the report. The Denver area’s average rent increased to $986, a 5.2 percent year-to-year increase.

“The average rent has grown year over year in every quarter for the past two and a half years, and it has recently begun to accelerate.” Colorado Division of Housing spokesman Ryan McMaken said in the release. “The rent growth we’re now seeing is starting to look like what we experienced in the days of the dot-com boom.”

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