Monday, August 10, 2009

Colorado Springs area vacancies fall to 9.8 percent

Colorado Springs area vacancies fall to 9.8 percent

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August 10, 2009

Apartment vacancy rates in the Colorado Springs area fell to 9.8 percent during the second quarter of 2009, but were buoyed by a 17.5 vacancy rate in smaller buildings and projects with 9 to 50 units. According to a report released today by the Apartment Association of Southern Colorado and the Colorado Division of Housing, the rate is down slightly from 10.2 percent as reported during the second quarter last year, and it is down from this year’s first quarter rate of 11.7 percent.

The area with the highest vacancies in the Colorado Springs metro area was the “Southeast” region with a vacancy rate of 17.8 percent. The Security/Widefield/Foundation region reported the second-highest vacancy rate of 16.2 percent.

The areas with the lowest vacancy rates were the “Southwest” region and “Far northeast” regions with vacancy rates of 6.8 percent and 7.7 percent respectively.

Colorado Springs vacancy rates have remained stable as rates across the rest of the Front Range have risen. Metro Denver’s vacancy rate, reported recently in a separate survey, was 9.0 percent during the second quarter, and rates in Greeley and Pueblo have also recently risen above 8 percent. Nevertheless, Colorado Springs vacancy rates remain among the highest in the state.

In general, a vacancy rate of 5 percent is considered an “equilibrium rate.”

Long-awaited arrivals of troops have helped bring vacancy rates down from highs of 11 to 12 percent that have been common in recent years.

“We’re cautiously optimistic,” said Ken Greene, a broker for Apartment Realty Advisors who specializes in the Colorado Springs market. “Many troops have already arrived, and we’re seeing both vacancies and concessions coming down.”

Perhaps due to several years of high vacancy rates, rent growth in Colorado Springs has been very limited. However, expected declines in vacancies due to troop movements likely helped push second quarter average rents to a new high of $717.65. The average rent was $693.46 during the first quarter of this year and was $706.51 during the second quarter of 2008.

The area that reported the highest average rents was the “Far northeast” region with an average rent of $849.00, and the areas with the lowest average rent was the “Central” region with an average rent of $577.04.

The Vacancy and Rent Surveys are a service provided by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ Colorado Division of Housing and the Apartment Association of Southern Colorado to renters and the multi-family housing industry on a quarterly basis. The Colorado Springs Area 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. For more information, please contact the Apartment Association of Metro Denver at http://www.aacshq.org ; or please visit the Colorado Division of Housing web site: http://dola.colorado.gov/cdh/