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Apartment vacancy rates in the Colorado Springs area fell to 6.9 percent during the first quarter of 2010, falling to the lowest vacancy rate reported since 2001. According to a report released today by the Apartment Association of Southern Colorado and the Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ Division of Housing, overall vacancies fell in the Colorado Springs area from a rate of 11.7 reported during the first quarter of 2009, and fell from 2009’s fourth quarter rate of 8.7 percent.
The first quarter’s rate of 6.9 percent is the lowest vacancy rate recorded since the third quarter or 2001 when vacancies were 5.4 percent. The vacancy rate rose to 8.9 percent during the fourth quarter of 2001, and remained above eight percent for the following eight years.
“Increases in the local troop population have now clearly had an impact in Colorado Springs,” said Gordon Von Stroh, professor of Business at the University of Denver, and the report’s author. “Also, with so little recent new construction of multifamily units in the area, the market will likely remain tight for a while.”
Year over year, vacancy rates fell significantly in the “Northwest” and the “Far Northeast” market areas of Colorado Springs where vacancy rates were more than cut in half to 5.1 percent and 4.5 percent respectively.
In the “Security/Widefield/Fountain” market area, where vacancy rates have often risen above 20 percent in recent years, vacancies fell to 14.2 percent, a four-and-a-half year low. All market areas reported lower vacancy rates for the first quarter of 2010 as compared to the same time last year.
In response to falling vacancies, average rents have increased, but at a moderate pace. The average rent for the first quarter of 2010 was $710.07, which is a slight drop from 2009’s fourth quarter average rent of 711.66, and average rents remain below the most recent high of $717.65 reported during the second quarter of last year. Nevertheless, the first quarter’s average rent is the highest first quarter rent level ever recorded.
“Average rents have increased in the area, but a lack of job growth across the region will keep some downward pressure on rents,” said Ryan McMaken, a spokesman for the Colorado Division of Housing. “March employment data shows that the unemployment rate in the region was unchanged since February, so rent increases are likely being tempered by limited wage growth.”
The area that reported the highest average rents was the “Far northeast” region with an average rent of $811.14, and the area with the lowest average rent was the “Southeast” region with an average rent of $598.86
Apartment Realty Advisors is also a major sponsor of this report. The Vacancy and Rent Surveys are a service provided by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ Colorado Division of Housing and the Apartment Association of Southern Colorado to renters and the multi-family housing industry on a quarterly basis. The Colorado Springs Area 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. For more information, please contact the Apartment Association of Southern Colorado at http://www.aacshq.org ; or please visit the Colorado Division of Housing web site: http://dola.colorado.gov/cdh/
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