DENVER (KDVR) — It is no longer the case that renters can find cheaper living outside of Denver’s urban core, as the pandemic exodus of workers away from city cores cranked rent up in outlying cities.
An ApartmentList study of nationwide rental data found that rent has been rising faster in suburban areas since the COVID pandemic than it has in city centers. Across 39 large and medium-sized metropolitan areas, suburban rents grew an average of 27.2% between March 2020 and October 2022. Meanwhile, the cities themselves saw rents increase by 19.8%.
The report details that people with remote work capability moved to farther-flung commuter exurbs, spiking rental prices in the process.
The farther away from city cores, the higher rents have risen since the pandemic. Cities 30 miles from city cores saw rents go up an average of 30.1%, cities 15 to 30 miles away grew by 26.8%, cities less than 15 miles away by 23.5%, and core cities saw rents grow 16.8%.
In the Denver area, the gap between urban and suburban rent growth is even higher.
Rent in Denver’s city core grew by 16% between January 2018 and the present. In Denver’s suburbs rent grew by 25.1% at the same time.
Until the pandemic, Denver’s rent and the rent of its suburbs had been growing at the same pace. Rent increases slowed in Denver proper through 2020, while rents in suburban areas kept going up as renters sought more space. By the time city core rents rebounded in 2021, rents in the suburban areas were already growing at faster rates.
This has made Denver itself – with some of the nation’s highest rents – a cheaper option than renting in most of its suburbs.
Among metro cities, Denver had a middling overall rent. In September 2022, Denver’s rent was one of the cheaper options in the metro, with only Brighton, Englewood, Greeley, Littleton and Loveland having cheaper overall average rent.