The increase in metro Denver home prices, which just set another all-time record, have turned off some would-be house hunters — but the local rental market offers no relief. After a period of declining rents in late 2021 and early 2022, the current trend line is heading up across all of the metro area. Among the highest tags are in Boulder, where the impact of the late December Marshall fire on housing costs appears to be making matters worse.
The May rent reports for Denver and Boulder from Apartment List provide the numbers. From last November to December in Denver, rent dropped by 1.1 percent, more than double the 0.4 percent dip from October to November. But the pace slowed in January, when Denver's median rent went down by only 0.2 percent, and since then, there have been three consecutive increases: 0.3 percent in February, 0.6 percent in March and now, 1.0 percent in April.
Denver's rent hike of 14.1 percent since this time last year is actually lower than the state average of 14.8 percent and the national average of 16.3 percent. But the city's one-bedroom median rent of $1,500 and the two-bedroom median rent of $1,840 are both up $20 from March.
Still, Denver's two-bedroom rate last month was lower than in seven suburbs. Median two-bedroom prices exceeded Denver's in Englewood ($1,890), Littleton and Westminster (both $1,950), Thornton ($1,980), Parker ($2,170), Broomfield ($2,330) and Lone Tree ($2,440). The prices in all of these locations rose between $20 and $40 in a month.
The 1.0 percent monthly bump in Denver was equaled by Lone Tree and outpaced by nine other communities spotlighted in the graphic below. The jumps in the north metro suburbs were substantial: In March, only Thornton saw a rent rise of 2.0 percent. In April, four cities met or exceeded that mark: 2.0 percent in Brighton and Westminster, 2.2 percent in Thornton and 2.6 percent in Arvada.
Here's the complete rundown:
And there's no relief in sight.