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The apartment vacancy rate in the Denver metro area fell to 5.5 percent in the first quarter, dropping to the lowest first-quarter vacancy rate recorded since 2001. According to a report released Thursday by the Apartment Association of Metro Denver and the Colorado Division of Housing, apartment vacancy rates fell 15.5 percent year-over-year from last year’s first-quarter rate of 6.5 percent. The vacancy rate was unchanged from 2010’s fourth-quarter rate of 5.5 percent, although the vacancy rate generally falls from the fourth quarter to the first quarter as a result of seasonal factors.
As vacancy rates moved down, the area’s median rent increased. During the first quarter of 2011, the median rent rose to $858, increasing 2.6 percent from 2010’s first-quarter median rent of $836. In individual market areas, the median rent rose year-over-year in all county-level regions covered by the survey. The region with the largest year-over-year increase in the median rent was the Boulder/Broomfield area with an increase of 6.6 percent from $901 to $961. The smallest increase was found in Denver County where the median rent rose 2.1 percent from $801 during 2010’s first quarter to $818 during this year’s first quarter.
As market rents generally increased over the past year, rental losses due to concessions, discounts and delinquencies fell slightly. Rental losses fell to 9.5 percent during the first quarter of 2010, dropping from 2010’s first-quarter rate of 9.7 percent.
2011’s first quarter vacancy rates by county were Adams, 5.6 percent; Arapahoe, 6.4 percent; Boulder/Broomfield, 4.9 percent; Denver, 4.8 percent; Douglas, 5.3 percent; Jefferson, 4.7 percent.
Median rents for all counties were: Adams, $871; Arapahoe, $825; Boulder/Broomfield, $961; Denver, $818; Douglas, $1061; and Jefferson, $828.
The Vacancy and Rent Surveys are a service provided by the Apartment Association of Metro Denver and the Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ Division of Housing to renters and the multi-family housing industry on a quarterly basis. 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. The full report is available through the Apartment Association of Metro Denver at www.aamdhq.org; and limited information is available online at the Division of Housing web site: http://dola.colorado.gov/cdh/