Denver apartments get pricier as home ownership declines
Apartment vacancies in Denver fell to a 10-year low in quarter one as more residents flocked to apartment complexes. "Most people who foreclose seem to be mostly moving into single-family rentals, and not into apartments, although some certainly do go back to apartments," said Ryan McMaken, a spokesperson for Colorado's Division of Housing. "The larger factor does seem to be people delaying purchases either because they're in no rush to buy, or because they simply don't have the credit score or the down payment funds necessary." The apartment vacancy rate in the first quarter fell to 5.5%, the lowest it's been since 2001, according to a new report from Colorado's Department of Local Affairs Division of Housing. Apartment vacancy rates in Denver fell 15.5% from the first-quarter of 2010 when the vacancy rate held at 6.5%. The lower vacancy rate is pushing up prices, with the median rent in the first quarter hitting $858 per month, up 2.6% from $836 per month a year earlier. Foreclosures and fears over buying a new home seem to be driving the prosperity that apartment landlords are now facing in Colorado. The report out of Denver mirrors national data from the Census Bureau, which recently concluded that the homeownership rate fell to 66.4% in the first quarter, the lowest level in 13 years. Write to Kerri Panchuk.