Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Apartment rents climb in Greeley area, statewide as vacancy rates hold steady

 Rents in Colorado rose statewide during the fourth quarter of 2013, with the statewide average rent hitting a new fourth-quarter high of $992. According to a report released today by the Colorado Division of Housing, the average rent during the fourth quarter was up 5.2 percent from last year’s fourth-quarter average rent of $944, and it was down from this year’s third quarter rent of $1,000.

Rent growth was not uniform statewide. While average rents fell in Pueblo and Grand Junction, the Greeley area reported a record-large increase of 9.2 percent, or 64 dollars, in the average rent from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the fourth quarter of 2013. Average rents also rose in Loveland and Colorado Springs, while the average rent in Ft. Collins fell slightly following numerous quarters of substantial increases in rents.

“Where there’s been some new construction, such as metro Denver and Colorado Springs, rent growth has moderated a little, but rent is still clearly growing for now,” said Ryan McMaken an economist with the Colorado Division of Housing. “In Greeley, where there’s been little new construction in recent years, we’re looking at the largest annual increase in rents we’ve seen in more than a decade.”

Average rents in all metropolitan areas measured for the fourth quarter of 2013 were Colorado Springs; $799, Ft. Collins/Loveland, $995; Grand Junction, $561; Greeley, $756; Pueblo, $594. The average rent in metro Denver, measured last month in a separate survey, was $1041. 

The vacancy rate in Colorado apartments during the fourth quarter of 2013 rose across the state with the statewide composite vacancy rate rising year over year to 5.4 percent from 2012’s fourth-quarter vacancy rate of 5.2 percent. The fourth quarter’s rate was also up from 2013’s third-quarter rate of 4.5 percent.

Vacancy rates varied considerably in different metros of the state, however, with the Ft. Collins –Loveland area’s vacancy rate dropping to a ten-year low of 2.1 percent while Greeley’s vacancy rate increased to a two-year high of 6.3 percent. Vacancy rates in Grand Junction and Pueblo both remained above 6.5 percent due to flat job markets.

“After three quarters of solid rent growth, turnover has led to some higher vacancy rates in Greeley, but for the most part, vacancy rates remain low and more or less where they were about a year ago and they’re near ten-year lows in many cases.” McMaken said.

Vacancy rates in all metropolitan areas measured for the fourth quarter of 2013 were Colorado Springs; 7.1 percent, Ft. Collins/Loveland, 2.1 percent; Grand Junction, 6.7 percent; Greeley, 6.3 percent; Pueblo, 8.3 percent. The vacancy rate in metro Denver, measured last month in a separate survey, was 5.2 percent. 

A vacancy rate of 5 percent or below suggests a tight market. The statewide composite vacancy rate and average rent includes metro Denver.