Denver Rent Prices Take Another Jump After Year of Decline

Civic Lofts, at 360 West 13th Avenue, is currently offering apartments ranging from $1,200 to $2,645 for studios to two bedrooms.
Civic Lofts, at 360 West 13th Avenue, is currently offering apartments ranging from $1,200 to $2,645 for studios to two bedrooms.
Google Maps
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Prior to the pandemic, rent prices in Denver were already sky-high and increasing monthly — and now this trend seems to be picking up where it left off. Last month, the average rent in Denver rose by more than 1 percent, easily topping the bump in February, which followed a year of unanticipated cost declines.

Rents are still climbing in most Denver suburbs, too.

The April 2021 Rent Report from Apartment List reveals that in March, the average rent in Denver jumped 1.3 percent over the previous month; the hike in February had been 0.9 percent. And while rent is still down 4.6 percent from this time last year and the current rise remains well below the pricing trajectory across the country over the same period, the gap is getting smaller: In February, the year-over-year slide was 5.1 percent.

This graphic shows what's been happening to Denver rent since March 2020, when restrictions related to COVID-19 were first put in place:

Granted, things could be worse. Compared to rent in other cities across the country, Denver remains solidly in the middle of the pack — more expensive than other Colorado locations, including Fort Collins and Colorado Springs, and other major metro areas such as Phoenix and Austin, but considerably under California-based rent leaders and more.

See the comparisons here:

Despite dropping rents in Denver, many Mile High renters chose to head to the suburbs during the spread of the novel coronavirus. In our November 2020 post on the subject, Rob Warnock, author of Apartment List's "The Suburban Rent Rebound," listed a series of contributing factors, including "the rapid adoption of remote work, increased value of having more space to live and work, and so many people entering the for-sale market."

Such demand contributed to month-over-month rent increases in all nine of the Denver suburbs tracked by Apartment List; last month, just five of the nine saw increases. Still, seven of the nine outlying communities have registered year-over-year price leaps.

Could legislative help be on the way?

Yesterday, HB21-1121, a measure sponsored by representatives Dominique Jackson and Iman Jodeh and Senator Julie Gonzales, passed its third reading in the Colorado House. Known as "Residential Tenancy Procedures," the bill "prohibits residential landlords from increasing rent more than one time in a twelve-month period of tenancy" while extending required notification of eviction procedures from ten to fourteen days. Next stop: the state Senate.

But in the meantime, rent bargains in Denver are becoming increasingly hard to find.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.