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Report: Denver recorded second-highest rent increase nationally in 2014

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DENVER — Renters spent a whopping 10.8 percent more for their residences in the Denver metro area in 2014 compared to 2013, the second-highest increase among the nation’s 25 largest metro areas, Zillow reported Tuesday.

Renters in the Denver metro area forked over $4.9 billion for rent this year, up $474 million from 2013. Only San Francisco, which saw rents increase 13.5 percent, had a higher percentage jump than Denver.

Average rent in the Denver metro area spiked to $1,032 for the year — or $86 a month — compared to 2013.

Zillow compared rents in the largest 25 metro areas it covers. After San Francisco and Denver, the largest percentage spikes were found in Pittsburgh (10.6 percent), Seattle (8.6 percent), and Miami and the District of Columbia (7.7 percent).

“Over the past 14 years, rents have grown at twice the pace of income due to weak income growth, burgeoning rental demand, and insufficient growth in the supply of rental housing. This has created real opportunities for rental housing owners and investors, but has also been a bitter pill to swallow for tenants, particularly those on an entry-level salary and those would-be buyers struggling to save for a down payment on a home of their own,” Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries said in a statement.

“Next year, we expect rents to rise even faster than home values, meaning that another increase in total rent paid similar to that seen this year isn’t out of the question. In fact, it’s probable.”

Zillow said Americans paid $20.6 billion more in rent this year, a spike of nearly 5 percent.