Vacancy rates for apartments in Colorado are the lowest they’ve been in ten years with many people no longer buying after the mortgage meltdown.
It’s simply a matter of less supply, and more demand.
“Being able to leave the state or move or live somewhere else…a house is a big commitment,” said Emily rents an apartment on 17th Street.
“It’s a totally different dynamic now where renting is where people want to be, certainly if they feel they’re not totally sure about their job situation,” said Ryan McMaken at the Colorado Division of Housing. “People are going to know as owners that they can ask for more rent and get it.”
“Given all the stuff that’s been happening (with the economy), we’d really rather not get in over our heads,” said Antonio Nava, who rents a home with his wife to accommodate their two dogs. “So unfortunately, I guess renting is the best we can do right now.”
The average monthly rental rate in Colorado today is $877. In Denver, that number is $915.
Experts say this the toughest time in 10 years to find a rental vacancy.
“We have people on a waiting list, so it’s good for landlords,” said Gail Smith, part owner of Landmark Western Property Rentals.
And with fewer options, many renters are forced to compromise.
“You don’t get quite as much for your money because you can’t afford it,” explains Dr. Mark Levine, Director of Real Estate and Construction Management at the University of Denver. “So instead of getting a three bedroom (home or apartment), maybe you have to take two.”
Experts say the trend is not expected to shift for years until new construction starts up again.