Monday, November 18, 2013

Census: Rental vacancy rates down in metro Denver and Colorado

According to the Census Bureau, the vacancy rate in Colorado fell year over year to 5.3 percent during the third quarter. During the third quarter of 2012, the vacancy rate was 6.4 percent.

In metro Denver, the vacancy rate also fell year over year, dropping to 4.1 percent from 2012's third-quarter rate of 4.6 percent.

Both metro Denver and Colorado vacancy rates were below the US vacancy rate of 8.3 percent. The first graph shows the vacancy rate in all three measures:


We see that the US vacancy rate has been above the Colorado and Denver rates since 2009. 

This survey measures both multifamily and single-family rental housing. The ongoing decline in vacancy is due to high demand for housing in general in Colorado and metro Denver, and is a product of fewer homes for sale, higher lending standards for home loans, and a limited amount of new single-family construction, all leading to more households substituting rental housing for purchase housing. Relatively strong job growth within metro Denver and northern Colorado has also continued to fuel high demand for rental housing. 

The second graph shows owner-occupant vacancy. This measure is of housing units that are vacant but are not rental units. We see that the vacancy in this type of unit is quite low, with Colorado and metro Denver again showing vacancy rates below the national rate: 


The metro Denver vacancy rate during the third quarter was 1.4 percent, and was us very slightly from the 2012 third quarter rate of 1.3 percent. This is not a significant change. 

In Colorado statewide, the vacancy rate was up insignificantly from 1.5 percent during the third quarter of 2012 to 1.6 percent during the third quarter of 2013. 

The US rate was 1.9 percent during the third quarter, and was unchanged from the third quarter of 2012. 

The Colorado Division of Housing's statewide vacancy and rent survey, which measures multifamily rental housing, will be released the week of November 18.