Apartment vacancies low



  • Ryan McMaken posts apartment report.
  • 3rd Quarter report covers areas outside of Denver.
  • Northern Colorado’s market is especially tight.

Apartment vacancy rates across Colorado’s Front Range remained low during the third quarter, with northern Colorado’s markets reporting occupancy rates of more than 97 percent in most submarkets, and Greeley hitting near an all-time low in vacancy, according to a state report released on Wednesday.

The Colorado Division of Housing report shows the vacancy rate was 2.8 percent in the Fort Collins-Loveland area and only 1.3 percent in Greeley, which was the lowest vacancy rate reported in Greeley since 1995.

The vacancy rate fell, year over year, in Colorado Springs and in Pueblo, signaling growing demand for apartments in all Colorado metros except Grand Junction.

“The Fort Collins market has been tight for several years at this point, and continues to be so, but in just 18 months, Greeley has gone from being a market with only moderate demand to a very tight one,” said Ryan McMaken, an economist with the Colorado Division of Housing. “As usual, employment is a major driver in all metros, as is the fact that new multifamily construction has only recently begun to pick up in Greeley.”

In Colorado Springs, the vacancy rate fell to 5.4 percent from last year’s third-quarter rate of 6.1 percent, and in Pueblo, the rate fell to 9.3 percent during the third quarter from 15.8 percent a year earlier. Grand Junction’s vacancy rate remained relatively high at 7.8 percent reflecting a shrinking labor force and flat employment totals over the past year in that metro area.

The metro Denver vacancy rate, measured in a separate survey, was 4.4 percent, up from 4.3 percent during the third quarter of 2012.

The average rent increased, year over year, in all metros except Grand Junction from the third quarter of 2012 to the third quarter of 2013

. The largest increase was found in Colorado Springs where the average rent rose 5.4 percent, year over year, with Greeley’s average rent increasing 5.1 percent over the same period.

“Although vacancies are quite low there, we did see rent growth flatten out in the Fort Collins-Loveland area,” McMaken said. “That’s one of the few metros where we’ve seen a significant amount of new construction in recent years, so new supply is helping a little to moderate rents.”

Average rents in all metropolitan areas measured for the first quarter of 2013 were:

  • Colorado Springs; $830;
  • Fort Collins/Loveland, $1043;
  • Grand Junction, $577;
  • Greeley, $728;
  • Pueblo, $597.

The average rent in metro Denver, measured last month in a separate survey, was $1,048.

A vacancy rate below five percent suggests a tight market. The statewide composite vacancy rate and average rent includes metro Denver.

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at  JRCHOOK@gmail.com. InsideRealEstateNews.com is sponsored by Universal Lending, Land Title Guarantee and 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal.


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John Rebchook

John Rebchook has more than 30 years of experience in writing and communications. As the Real Estate Editor for the Rocky Mountain News, he wrote about residential and commercial real estate for 26 years. He has won numerous awards for business stories and columns that he wrote, both as an individual and part of teams. In addition to real estate, he also covered economic development, banking and financing, the airlines, and cable TV for the Rocky. In addition, he was one of the original freelance writers for GlobeSt.com, covering commercial real estate for the Internet publication.

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