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DENVER (KDVR) — Landlords in the Denver metro and across the country are seeing a shift in rental patterns as they say more people are searching for single-family homes.

Bill Bronchick, president of the Colorado Landlords Association, says the competition for single-family rentals is extreme right now.

“Strike while the iron is hot. You have to be very aggressive and you have to make it very easy for the landlord,” said Bronchick.

Data from the U.S. Census shows vacancy rates are down for all rentals. The rate dropped from 6.6% in the first quarter to 5.7% in the second quarter of 2020. Bronchick estimates the vacancy rate locally is closer to 3%.

The increase in demand for single-family units is not unique to Denver. Michael Cook, partner at the Settled Nomad, specializes in operating single-family units across the country. He says the trend is primarily driven by COVID-19.

“What people used to love about apartments was the proximity to the downtown spaces. They could go out, have fun and have a good time. People just aren’t doing that,” said Cook.

Cook says what was once appealing about apartment living has now become burdensome in the new way of life.

“I don’t want to be in a 200-unit apartment building with lots and lots of other folks. I also need space to be able to work from home or maybe to be able to homeschool,” said Cook.

For those searching for single-family properties to rent, Bronchick recommends standing out from the competition by contacting the landlord immediately, filling out applications fully and being prepared to present pay stubs or bank statements.