Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Vacancies scarce in rental houses, rents rise

Vacancies in for-rent condos, single-family homes, and other small properties across metro Denver rose slightly during the fourth quarter although the market remained tight with a rate of 2.1 percent. According to a report released Thursday by the Colorado Division of Housing, the metro-wide vacancy rate during the fourth quarter of this year was up from 2010’s fourth-quarter rate of 2.0 percent while it was down from 2011’s third-quarter rate of 3.4 percent.

The vacancy rate varied among different types of properties, although only triplexes reported vacancy rates above 3 percent. The vacancy rate in detached houses was 1.6 percent, and it was 2.0 percent in rental townhouses. Rental condominiums reported a vacancy rate of 2.4 percent.

At the county level, the lowest vacancy rates were found in Douglas County and in Jefferson County. The vacancy rate was 1.5 percent in both Douglas County and Jefferson County.

The highest county-wide vacancy rate, found in Adams County, was 4.8 percent.

Vacancy rates for all counties surveyed were: Adams, 4.8 percent; Arapahoe, 2.5 percent; Denver, 2.1 percent; Douglas, 1.5 percent; and Jefferson, 1.5 percent.

“The vacancy rate went up slightly year over year. That doesn’t mean much, though, because when you’re looking at vacancy rates below three percent, the bottom line is that the market is tight,” said Ryan McMaken, a spokesman for the Colorado Division of Housing. “For many people, it’s not easy to buy a house right now, so they’re renting.”

The average rent in metro Denver for single-family and similar properties rose to $1,062 during 2011’s fourth quarter, rising 3.2 percent from 2010’s fourth-quarter average rent of $1,029. The fourth quarter’s average rent was also up from 2011’s third-quarter average rent of $1,049. Average rents are not adjusted for inflation.

The average rent rose, year over year, in all county areas. Growth in the average rent was strongest in Adams County where the average rent grew 7 percent from 2010’s fourth quarter to 2011’s fourth quarter. The average rent rose the least in Denver County where it was up 1.6 percent, year over year.

Average rents for all counties were: Adams, $1,186; Arapahoe, $1,006; Denver, $992; Douglas, $1,416; and Jefferson, $1,021.

During 2011’s fourth quarter, the average number of days on the market for single-family rentals and similar properties was 38 days, which was unchanged from the fourth quarter of 2010. The number of days on the market rose during the fourth quarter from 2011’s third-quarter average of 24 days.

The Colorado Statewide Vacancy and Rent Study is released each quarter by the Colorado Division of Housing. The Report is available online at the Division of Housing economics site: The Colorado 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.

Click on county for report findings:
Denver Metro
Adams County
Arapahoe County
Boulder/Broomfield Area
Denver County
Douglas County
Jefferson County