Vacancies in for-rent condos, single-family homes, and other small properties across metro Denver rose slightly during the first quarter although the market remained very tight with a rate of 1.6 percent. The vacancy rate during the first quarter was the second-lowest vacancy rate recorded in any quarter since the survey was started in 2001. According to a report released Thursday by the Colorado Division of Housing, the metro-wide vacancy rate during the first quarter of 2012 was up from 2011’s first-quarter rate of 1.4 percent while it was down from 2011’s fourth-quarter rate of 2.1 percent.
At the county level, the lowest vacancy rates were found in Douglas County and in Jefferson County where the vacancy rates were 1.3 percent and 1.0 percent, respectively.
The highest county-wide vacancy rate, found in Adams County, was 3.8 percent.
Vacancy rates for all counties surveyed were: Adams, 3.8 percent; Arapahoe, 1.9 percent; Denver, 1.7 percent; Douglas, 1.3 percent; and Jefferson, 1.0 percent.
“With a vacancy rate below two percent, you’re essentially dealing with 100% occupancy,” said Ryan McMaken, a spokesman for the Colorado Division of Housing. “The vacancies we do see are due to little more than turnover, so this tells us that in most of the metro area, rental homes are filling up, and are doing so rather quickly.”
During 2012’s first quarter, the average number of days on the market for single-family rentals and similar properties was 28.7 days, which was the third-lowest average recorded since the survey was started in 2001. The number of days on the market during the first quarter was down from 29.7 days during 2011’s first quarter, and was also down from 2011’s fourth-quarter average of 38.9 days.
The average rent in metro Denver for single-family and similar properties rose to $1,056 during 2012’s first quarter, rising 1.6 percent from 2011’s first-quarter average rent of $1,039. This year’s first quarter’s average rent was down from 2011’s fourth-quarter average rent of $1,062. Average rents are not adjusted for inflation.
The average rent rose, year over year, in all county areas except in Arapahoe and Adams counties. Growth in the average rent was strongest in Jefferson County where the average rent grew 2.7 percent from 2011’s first quarter to 2012’s first quarter. The average rent fell the most in Arapahoe County where it was down 5.3 percent, year over year.
Average rents for all counties were: Adams, $1,046; Arapahoe, $1,003; Denver, $1,001; Douglas, $1,410; and Jefferson, $1,020.
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: www.divisionofhousing.com. 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.