Denver area ranks as third most competitive rental market in the West

Metro behind Salt Lake City and Tucson, and just ahead of Phoenix and Las Vegas

Broker Insight
While Denver’s rental market stands as the third most competitive in the West, it trails Salt Lake City and Tucson. Prospective tenants frequently vie with eight others, in alignment with the national average.

Apartments typically lease within 42 days, upholding a 94% occupancy rate despite a slight upswing in new units. More than half of Denver’s tenants, 56%, opt for lease renewals.

Though market competitiveness has cooled slightly from the previous year, the outlook for multifamily investment remains promising, fueled by high demand and an average rent of $1,967.

Katon Patel | 720-495-6150 |

The Denver area ranks as the third most competitive large rental market in the West behind Salt Lake City and Tucson, Ariz., blowing past Phoenix and Las Vegas.

A new report by apartment search website Rent Cafe points to the market’s scant availability of rentals, with prospective tenants usually vying against eight others for a place to live – a statistic that’s on par with the U.S. average of nine people per empty rental. Apartments are typically snagged off of the market within 42 days.

Denver’s occupancy rate is close to 94%, even though recent months have seen an almost 0.5% jump in new apartments, according to the report.

More than half of Denver tenants, 56%, renewed their leases this season.

Out of the small Western markets, Montana takes the top ranking, followed by Albuquerque, N.M., at No. 2, Boise, Idaho, at No. 3, Wyoming at No. 4 and Colorado Springs at No. 5. Montana and Wyoming are considered single markets.

The news comes as Denver’s average apartment rent is $1,967, with an apartment’s size spanning 839 square feet on average, the website reports.

And the need for affordable housing continues to grow. On Tuesday, Crosswinds at Arista at 11697 Destination Dr. in Broomfield held its grand opening of almost 160 new homes targeting low-income households.

Coloradans are most worried about the cost of living and inflation, followed closely by housing affordability, according to the fourth annual Colorado Health Foundation Pulse Poll.

“In a three-year span, housing costs have spread from the concern of local workers in mountain resort communities to a top-tier statewide issue,” said Lori Weigel, Republican pollster for Pulse and principal of research firm New Bridge Strategy. “In every region of the state – from the Eastern Plains to the Front Range to the Western Slope – and with virtually every single demographic group, the cost of living and cost of housing are the great uniters as the top-of-mind concerns.”

-Lori Weigel

But compared to 2022, Denver’s competitivity as a rental market is now cooling slightly, according to the Rent Cafe report. At the start of last year’s rental season, units typically only remained empty for 37 days, with an apartment occupancy rate of almost 95%.

The report looked at almost 140 markets across the U.S. Denver’s overarching rental market including Denver, Aurora, Lakewood, Fort Collins, Westminster, Englewood, Thornton, Littleton, Broomfield, Arvada, Boulder, Northglenn, Longmont and Greeley.

Florida counts as the nation’s top state for competitive rental markets, with Miami taking the No. 1 spot. Five other hubs in the Sunshine State are ranked in the top 20, including Southwest Florida, Broward County, Orlando, Tampa and Palm Beach County. New Jersey’s North Jersey is considered the No. 2 market, with Southwest Florida at No. 3

Credit: Originally posted July 19, 2023 by MEGAN ULU-LANI BOYANTON via The Denver Post.

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