DENVER (KDVR) — The Denver metro’s high housing expense isn’t just in the city itself. Area suburbs rose in price even higher than the city proper through the pandemic’s disruptive years.

Traditionally, rent has been cheaper in suburbs. Crucially in an age of crushing housing expenses, that is less and less the case. ApartmentList analyzed the rent growth between July 2020 and July 2022. The aim is to see not only how rents have shifted in the last few years but whether suburbs saw different patterns than cities.

The findings say suburban rents have outpaced cities’ faster than ever before.

“The data here span 33 metropolitan areas: 33 core cities and 387 suburbs in total. Today, year-over-year rent declines have reached -1.7% in core cities and -1.2% in suburban ones,” reads the report. “This means that over the course of the pandemic, suburban rent growth has outpaced core city rent growth by nearly 8 percentage points, the highest it has ever been. Most of the gap emerged within the first 12 months of the pandemic, but has widened steadily since then.”

Denver is not an exceptional example of the trend, but it does underscore a major metro issue. As one of the most expensive rental markets in the country, renters have no place to avoid it. Suburban rents grew 24.7% during the pandemic while Denver proper rents grew by only 14.8%.

The Pacific Northwest has the largest gaps in urban vs. suburban rents as more people fled downtown areas. In Portland, city rent grew 1.7% while suburban rent exploded 22.8%. In Seattle, city rents climbed 2% while suburban rents climbed 19%.