The Denver metro area’s apartment vacancy rate fell to 4.6% in the first quarter as the region remained strained by growing rental demand and limited supply, the Colorado Division of Housing claims in a new report. 

"The number of new apartments delivered has increased rapidly since 2010, but the numbers haven’t been large enough so far to push vacancy rates up significantly," said Ryan McMaken, an economist with the Colorado Division of Housing

The metro’s 4.6% vacancy rate for apartments is the second-lowest vacancy rate in any quarter since the first quarter of 2001.

A year ago, the region had a 4.9% vacancy rate, and that rate has been falling year-over-year for the past 14 quarters.

Lower supply and higher demand are both lifting prices.

During the first quarter, the average rent in Denver rose to $992, up 4.2%, or $40, from the first-quarter of 2012 when the average rent hit $952.   

Areas such as Boulder/Broomfield saw average rents grow 6.9% and 7.4% year-over-year, respectively.