Denver Rent Increases April 2022 Marshall Fire Update | Westword
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Big Metro Denver Rent Increases and Impact of Marshall Fire

The Marshall fire seems to be having an impact.
The Apex 5510 apartment complex, at 5510 Spine Road in Boulder, offers units ranging from studios to two bedrooms for $1,703-$4,576.
The Apex 5510 apartment complex, at 5510 Spine Road in Boulder, offers units ranging from studios to two bedrooms for $1,703-$4,576. Google Maps
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The parenthetical word in "Denver Metro Rent Declines Are (Mostly) Over," the headline of a Westword story about rent prices at the beginning of March, no longer applies. The April rent report from Apartment List confirms rent increases in every community in the metro area that it regularly tracks.

Moreover, the impact of Boulder County's Marshall fire on rent costs, which was a matter of speculation earlier this year, is coming into focus. The northern suburbs closest to Boulder have experienced some of the largest local month-over-month rent hikes, and the tag for a two-bedroom apartment in Boulder proper is currently higher than most other places in the area.

The price relief that renters enjoyed in late 2021 is being rapidly eroded at this point. From November to December, monthly costs dropped by 1.1. percent — a larger dip than the 0.4 percent slide from October to November. But the pace slowed in January, when Denver rent went down by only 0.2 percent, and in February, it rose by 0.3 percent. And in March, the hike is estimated at 0.6 percent, double the February increase.

Denver's rent bump of 14.7 percent since this time last year is actually lower than the state average of 15.1 percent and the national average of 17.1 percent. But the one-bedroom median rent of $1,480 and the median two-bedroom rent of $1,820 are both up $10 from February.

Still, Denver's two-bedroom rate in March was lower than in seven suburbs. Last month, two-bedroom prices exceeded Denver's in Englewood ($1,860), Littleton and Westminster (both $1,920), Thornton ($1,950), Parker ($2,140), Broomfield ($2,290) and Lone Tree ($2,400).

Denver's 0.6 percent monthly increase was equaled by Aurora and outpaced by the nine other communities spotlighted in the graphic below — a contrast with the February update, which documented rent decreases in three spots (Aurora, Arvada and Westminster). Moreover, the jumps associated with north metro suburbs were substantial: 1.2 percent in Westminster, 1.6 percent in Arvada, 1.8 percent in Broomfield and 2 percent in Thornton.

Here's the complete rundown:
In Boulder proper, rent went up 1.1 percent from February to March and 19.4 percent year over year, according to its Apartment List roundup. Moreover, the $2,120 median rent for a two-bedroom there is above the amount for nine other local communities, as this graphic illustrates.
The upward direction of Denver area rents is clear — and there's no indication that the trajectory will change anytime soon.
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