Apartment rental rates in the greater Denver area shot up to a 10-year high in the first quarter as the region faced growing demand for a limited supply of rentals.
Monthly rents in the area soared 4.5% between the first quarter of 2011 and the most recent 1Q period, according to research from the Apartment Association of Metro Denver and the Colorado Division of Housing.
The organizations claim the 4.5% year-over-year rental rate hike is the highest percentage increase in any quarter since 2001.
The average rent in Denver today is $952, up from $911 last year.
"Rents continue to increase as demand grows faster than the production of new units," said Ron Throupe, professor of real estate at the Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management at the University of Denver and author of the report. "Rents often tend to moderate a bit during the first quarter, but this year, the rent rose to an all-time high instead."
Colorado's Douglas County, as well as the Boulder-Broomfield area noted average rental rates well above $1,000.
The growing rental rates coincide with Denver's falling apartment vacancy rate, which stood at 4.9% at the end of the first quarter, compared to 5.5% a year ago. It is the second lowest vacancy rate on record since 2001.
"Vacancies are falling both metro-wide and in most neighborhoods we survey," said Ryan McMaken, spokesman for the Colorado Division of Housing. "We still find some high vacancy rates out in eastern and southeastern parts of the metro area, but everywhere else we’re looking at rates in the three to four-percent range, which is low."