Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Census: Rental vacancies head down in Colorado and Denver-Aurora


According to the Census Bureau, the vacancy rate in rental housing in Colorado fell year over year during the third quarter of 2012 to  6.4 percent. In the Denver-Aurora area, the vacancy rate during the third quarter also fell year over year to 4.6 percent. In both cases, the vacancy rates are at the lowest rates recorded during the third quarter in more than seven years.

Nationwide, the rental vacancy rate was 8.6 percent during the third quarter of 2012.

The vacancy rate in both Colorado and in Denver-Aurora are now near 7-year lows (the report has only been published since 2005), reflecting ongoing demand for rental housing as credit for purchase housing has tightened in recent years. Continued household formation in Colorado has also helped bring the vacancy rate down.

Vacancy rates in Colorado and the Denver-Aurora area are lower than the national vacancy rate overall.

These low rates echo the Division of Housing's vacancy survey which shows vacancy rates near 12-year lows. See here for more.

In both the Denver-Aurora area and statewide, vacancy rates have fallen steadily since 2009.


As Colorado's vacancy rate moved further below the national rate, the most recent data further suggests that rental housing in Colorado and the Denver area is experiencing greater demand than is the case nationwide. This is likely due to strong population growth and household formation in Colorado relative to many states and metro areas.

The census vacancy rate also measures vacancies in both single-family units and apartments. The Division of Housing issues separate reports for apartments and single-family rentals.

These vacancy rates are part of the Census Bureau's Housing Vacancy Survey (HVS). The method for data collection varies significantly form the method used for the collection of the Division of Housing's vacancy and rent surveys.

The Division of Housing's report is based on quarterly surveys that measure the vacancy of all surveyed units in specific dates for each quarter. Units are either vacant on the day in question, or they are not. By contrast, vacancies in the HVS are measured according to occupancy of a unit over a much broader time period, and are subject to some interpretation on the part of the person conducting the survey.