Housing

Cheapest Places for Metro Denver Rent Now

West 38, an apartment complex at 7333 West 38th Avenue in Wheat Ridge, has units available from $1,564 to $2,543.
West 38, an apartment complex at 7333 West 38th Avenue in Wheat Ridge, has units available from $1,564 to $2,543. Google Maps
The December rent report for Denver is Apartment List's most expansive yet, with data for more metro area communities than ever before, along with year-to-year comparisons that provide insight into the wild price spikes of the past few years, as well as the modest declines that have marked recent months.

Along the way, the survey reveals the communities with the closest thing to bargain rent right now, as well as the three places where costs are still climbing.

Within Denver city limits, median monthly rent slid by 1.5 percent in November, after a 1.0 percent decline in October and a 0.2 percent dip in September that marked the end of increases through the first eight months of 2022.

While November's median one-bedroom rent of $1,399 in Denver was still 1.7 percent higher than at this time last year, it represents a major improvement over rent in July, for example, which was 8.8 percent higher. Moreover, that 1.7 percent increase is well below bumps of 3.7 percent for Colorado and 4.6 percent for the United States as a whole since November 2021.

Denver's one-bedroom rent is on the lower end of the scale for the metro communities surveyed by Apartment List — seventeen of them, up from fourteen previously. Five towns had an even lower median rent for a one-bedroom in November: Wheat Ridge ($1,123), Englewood ($1,150), Littleton ($1,325), Aurora ($1,363) and Arvada ($1,372).

Fourteen of the seventeen communities saw rent drops from October to November. The exceptions were Glendale (up 0.6 percent monthly and 6.3 percent annually), Parker (up 0.9 percent monthly and 6.1 percent annually) and Lone Tree (up 2.6 percent monthly and a stunning 13.0 percent annually).

Here's the complete rundown.
Also new from Apartment List are juxtapositions of annual rent prices over the past four years. Costs in Denver rose by just 1.0 percent in 2019 before tumbling by 5.1 percent in 2020, at the peak of the pandemic. The next year saw a huge swing in the opposite direction, with 2021 rents soaring by 16.9 percent before slowing to a 3.0 percent pace for 2022 to date.

Boulder is the subject of its own Apartment List rent report, and the latest stats show that median rent prices there dropped by 0.8 percent — less than the 1.4 percent slip in October, but better than in September, when prices remained essentially flat. But this development didn't save Boulder renters any money. In something of a statistical anomaly, Boulder's median one-bedroom price of $1,509 last month was actually a few bucks higher than the $1,506 in October. The same phenomenon was seen for two- bedroom units; the November median price of $1,923 was just above the $1,919 the month before.

The four-year rent comparison in Boulder brought slightly better news: Rent had fallen by 3.6 percent in 2019 and another 5.2 percent in 2020 before zooming skyward by 18.6 percent in 2021. The increase to date in 2022 is 1.6 percent — a blessing, given the loss of more than 1,000 residential structures in Boulder County during the December 2021 Marshall fire.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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