Metro Denver apartment rents continued to rise in the third quarter and the vacancy rate remained below 5 percent, signs of one of the healthiest apartment markets the area has seen in a decade, according to a report Thursday.
“Vacancy rates remain near 10-year lows and the vacancy rate has dropped year-over-year for the past eight quarters in a row,” said report author Ron Throupe, assistant professor of business at the University of Denver . “This is the second-lowest vacancy rate we’ve seen in any quarter since 2001.”
The third-quarter Denver Metro Apartment Vacancy and Rent Survey shows the area’s vacancy rate was 4.9 percent, the lowest third quarter vacancy rate since 2000. That was down from the 5.3 percent vacancy rate in the third quarter of 2010, but up slightly from the 4.8 percent logged in the second quarter — a 10-year low.
Median rent was $881 per month, a 2.9 percent increase year-over-year. The median was $863.37 in the second quarter.
Denver County posted the biggest year-over-year increase in median rent, going from $809 last year to $853 this year. Local rents were highest in downtown Denver: $1,329.
Only Douglas County reported a decline in median rent in the metro area, from $1,111 in Q3 2010 to $1,071, the report states.
“We’re seeing a sustained and real rent growth,” said Ryan McMaken, spokesman for the Colorado Division of Housing, a sponsor of the report. “I’m actually surprised at how little the [rent] growth was, but that seems to be a function of the less desirable properties keeping the aggregate down. But we are seeing big increases in some places.”
Rocky Sundling, district manager of Colorado for Camden Property Trust (NYSE: CPT), one of the nation’s largest apartment real estate investment trusts, said rent growth in type B and C apartments have risen 7 to 9 percent, whereas class A rents are rising at a slower rate of 3 to 5 percent.
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