The apartment vacancy rate in Denver declined to a 12-year low of 5.4% in the fourth quarter of 2011 as rental demand continued to surge in the metro area.  

The Colorado Division of Housing made that conclusion in a report released Thursday, noting that the delinquency rate is down from its 2010 fourth-quarter rate of 5.5%.

Ryan McMaken, a spokesperson for the division, says the median rental price increased year-over-year for the past eight quarters. 

“The rent growth we’re now seeing is more robust than what we saw during the last expansion between 2002 and 2008,” McMaken said.

The median rental price in the Denver metro area hit $870 in the fourth quarter of last year, increasing 2.8% from $846 in 4Q of 2010. 

The vacancy drop and price increases are  part of a larger trend that has been sweeping through the Denver metro area. McMaken noted last April that rental prices were on the rise as more families who were foreclosured upon turned to renting.   

kpanchuk@housingwire.com

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