Denver metro rent: On average, $200 more than a year ago

Data Desk

DENVER (KDVR) — It isn’t just mortgage owners who are seeing home prices going up, renters are too.

Colorado, and the Front Range, in particular, has been growing rapidly in the last 10 years and home prices have grown rapidly with the newcomers.

The Daniels School of Business at the University of Denver released its quarterly report on the Denver metro apartment rental market Wednesday. The average rent for a Denver metro apartment is $200 more than the same quarter last year and $75 more than last quarter.

According to Ron Throupe, a DU professor and one of the study’s authors, the Denver metro’s rental prices still don’t meet those of expensive coastal cities. It simply feels expensive because the city used to be far cheaper.

“Most markets in the United States this year have gone up significantly. Some of them up 25%. So Denver right now is 13 and a half for the year so far. So it’s really in the middle,” said Throupe. “You get into major coastal cities you could be looking at 3,000, two or 3,000 a month for rent. So it truly is not at that high of a level. But it’s no longer a cheap city to live in, either.”

Part of the city’s growing expense is a vicious cycle, he said. The more expensive it gets, the more it attracts only higher-income households who can afford it, which in turn brings higher-paying top-tier jobs.

Newer, higher-income renters create a demand for more expensive rentals with better amenities – what Throupe calls “A class” units.

The report breaks down just how much more expensive apartments are with add-ons like new appliances, air conditioning, swimming pools, attached parking garages, and/or balconies or patios.

Apartments with those amenities cost $350-$500 more in monthly rent than those without them. Apartments that allow pets cost an average of $550 more, making a dog or cat the most expensive amenity the Denver metro sees.

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