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DENVER (KDVR) — Denver rent prices are not expected to move up or down much during the first half of 2021, but rates are now sitting above the national average according to a study done by Apartment Guide.

Madison Bares tells the FOX31 Problem Solvers she’s tired of paying rent she describes as way too high.

“Absolutely insane to have an 800 square-foot apartment and be paying almost $2000 for rent,” she said.

Several online sites place the median national average for rent at just over $1,200 for a one-bedroom apartment. The average rent for the same type of unit in Denver is currently $1,400 per month.

The state offers help to eligible tenants affected by COVID-19 through the Rental Assistance Program. Click here for information about eligibility.

Others are opting to take advantage of first-time home buyer programs and low interest rates in what is considered to be a strong real estate market, even during the pandemic.

Real estate expert Luca Baud tells FOX31 housing inventory is shrinking, driving the market. 

“If you’re in a position to buy, the average appreciation homeowners have gained here in the past year is $18,000,” he said.

In-person home showings are resuming under strict safety guidelines, and buyers are enjoying an opportunity to get a first hand experience in touring a prospective home.

“When we do show homes, safety is of course priority number one,” Baud said.

Consumer experts advise to carefully consider your lifestyle, financial goals and flexibility before deciding whether to rent or buy a home.  

Renting may be a better option if you aren’t ready for the responsibility of a home or need more flexibility. 

Baud says it is important to consider whether maintenance and management costs rolled into rent may be higher than a mortgage payment.