Thursday, June 25, 2009

Vacancies in rental houses inch up, but remain low

The full report is available here:

Vacancies in for-rent condos, single-family homes, and other small properties across metro Denver rose year-over-year to 3.6 percent during 2009’s first quarter. The vacancy rate was 2.7 percent during the same period last year, and was 4.9 percent during 2008’s fourth quarter. According to a report released Thursday by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ Division of Housing, vacancies across the region fell below 2008’s fourth quarter levels, but generally remain higher than last year’s first quarter rates.

The smallest overall vacancy rates were found in Douglas County and the Boulder/Broomfield area with rates of 2.4 percent and 2.1 percent respectively. The highest vacancy rates were in Adams County which reported an overall rate of 5.1 percent.

All counties reported decreases in the vacancy rate from the fourth quarter to the first quarter, but all areas except Adams County and the Boulder/Broomfield area reported higher vacancies during the first quarter of 2009 when compared to the same period last year.

Vacancy rates for all counties surveyed were: Adams, 5.1 percent; Arapahoe, 2.9 percent; Boulder/Broomfield, 2.1 percent; Denver, 4.0 percent; Douglas, 2.4 percent; and Jefferson, 3.8 percent.

In general, a vacancy rate of 5 percent is considered the “equilibrium” rate, and vacancy rates below 3 percent indicate a tight market.

According to the report, the metro-wide average rent increased to $1004.44 during the first quarter, up from $984.63 during the same period a year earlier. Since the fourth quarter of 2008, rents have risen from an average of $995.24.

Rents were highest in the Boulder/Broomfield area at $1392.43, and lowest in Denver County at $932.53. Comparing 2009’s first quarter rents to the same period last year, average rents increased in all areas except Arapahoe and Douglas Counties. Rents fell from the fourth quarter of last year to the first quarter of this year in Douglas County, Jefferson County, and in the Boulder/Broomfield area.

Average rents for all counties were: Adams, $1064.17; Arapahoe, $997.83; Boulder/Broomfield, $1392.43; Denver, $932.53; Douglas, $1374.94; and Jefferson, $980.60.

The Colorado Statewide Vacancy and Rent Study is released each quarter by the Colorado Division of Housing. The Report is available online at the Division of Housing web site:
The Colorado Vacancy and Rent Survey reports averages and, as a result, there are often differences in rental and vacancy rates by size, location, age of building, and apartment type.