Friday, September 14, 2012

Through July, most multifamily activity again in Denver, Broomfield, El Paso and Douglas counties.

Year-to-date through July of 2012, 83 percent of all new multifamily permits issued have been issued in Denver, Broomfield, El Paso and Douglas counties alone. 

According to new multifamily permit data for Colorado counties, 4,621 multifamily permits have been issued from January through July of 2012. 3,845 of them, or 83 percent, were issued in Denver, Broomfield, El Paso and Douglas counties. Adding in Boulder and Larimer counties brings the total to 4,552, or 98 percent, of all multifamily permits through July.

Few other counties issued many multifamily permits as of July of this year.

Downtown Denver and the "northwest corridor" of the metro area have reported significant rent growth in recent years, and developers appear to be capitalizing on high demand in those markets. El Paso county had, until recently seen little development for the past decade, and although apartment vacancies have hovered around 6 percent in recent quarters, the long-time lack of new construction has encouraged new building of multifamily. A high median income and stable employment in Douglas County encourage new construction there.

Total multifamily permits issued, Jan-June 2012
Adams 220
Arapahoe 49
Boulder 327
Broomfield 668
Denver 2,022
Douglas 558
El Paso 597
Jefferson 8
Larimer 380
Mesa 7
Pueblo 0
Weld 5

As of June 2012, there had only been 50 multifamily permits in Larimer County, but 330 new multifamily permits were added during July putting Larimer County on pace to finish the year about equal with 2011. 

With so little demand for new condominiums right now, it is safe to assume that the lopsided majority of new multifamily permits being issued are for rental housing. We see most of this activity in areas where vacancy rates have been tight or look to be tight for the near to mid-term.

Change since 2011

Some counties saw very large increases in the number of multifamily permits issued. From January-July of 2011 to the same period this year, in Douglas County, multifamily permits increased more than 5,400% from 10 to 558, while in Adams county they increased from 0 to 220. Boulder County also saw a big increase (861%) with a rise in multifamily permits from 34 to 327, year over year through July, and Broomfield saw the largest increase from 0 multifamily permits to 668 permits, year over year through July. 

There was no multifamily permit activity at all in Pueblo County over the period, and Weld County increased only slightly from 0 to 5.