If you’re new to Denver, you may have heard the horror stories surrounding the search for affordable rental properties in the metro Denver area in recent months and years. With a population surge in Denver in 2014 and 2015, the real estate market, specifically the rental market, has made it extremely difficult to find affordable places to live in the city, especially in Capitol Hill, the downtown area, and other highly popular neighborhoods. There was a huge demand for rental properties in 2014 and 2015, and that demand has continued to remain high in 2016 so far. The difference between 2016 and previous years in the Denver rental property market is that supply is finally catching up with demand.
In a quarterly report published at the end of the fourth quarter for 2015, the Apartment Association of Metro Denver found that apartment rents have leveled off and the influx of many new rental properties on the market has actually caused the apartment vacancy rate in metro Denver explode to 6.8 percent, up 5 percent from the end of the third quarter in 2015. It was the largest quarterly surge in apartment vacancy rates in Denver since the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 forced many people to move out of their apartments.
With vacancy rates surging even beyond expected seasonal fluctuations, the search for an affordable apartment in Denver has become easier as landlords and property management companies scramble to fill their units. With construction projects going up all over the city to provide more housing for the thousands of people moving to our beautiful city, supply has finally caught up with demand, and you can benefit from the changing rental market. Rents are going down because of new options for renters, so the chances of finding an affordable apartment for rent in Denver are rising for newcomers or those trying to make a change.
Renters then have a variety of options for apartments and rental houses throughout Denver. With rent rates flattening all over the city, they can find older apartment units for less than they would have paid even three months ago. There is also a variety of new apartment units going up across the Denver metro area that need residents badly. Landlords hate to see their brand new units sit empty for very long.
There are several areas of Denver and the surrounding area that are particularly attractive to prospective renters looking for affordable options due to their high vacancy rates. Northwest Denver, according to the report published by the Apartment Association of Denver, has the highest vacancy rate—an astonishing 17.4 percent. Boulder County, excluding Longmont and Boulder proper has a 14 percent vacancy rate, downtown Denver—11.2 percent, and north Douglas County—9.6 percent. Rents in these areas will see decreases if supply can keep up with demand.
The bottom line is that renters trying to live in Denver will have a much easier time of it in 2016 than they did in 2015. As moving season approaches, the Denver rentals market will see declining rental rates and it should be able to handle another surge in population in the coming months due to the many new construction projects throughout the city.