Sky-High Denver Rents Just Went Up Again

Edison at Rino, an apartment complex at 3063 Brighton Boulevard, has studios available now starting at $2,469.
Edison at Rino, an apartment complex at 3063 Brighton Boulevard, has studios available now starting at $2,469. Google Maps
Denver renters are facing a bad news-good news situation.

The bad news is that skyrocketing rent prices in the Mile High City climbed again, according to the November report from Apartment List. The good news is that the rate of increase is down from the previous survey, and some parts of metro Denver have actually seen declines.

In June, we asked this in a post: "Could Denver Area Rent Go Up 25 Percent in a Year?" Given the leap in our October update, it seemed like a definite possibility. Rent in Denver spiked by 2.7 percent during September, and if that gain was matched each month for the next twelve, prices would surge by 32.4 percent.

Fortunately, Apartment List calculates that Denver rent rose by a modest 0.2 percent in October, the most recent month for which statistics are available. However, this was the ninth consecutive month of increases, following a small drop-off in January, leading to a year-over-year escalation of 16.1 percent, just over the national average of 15.8 percent.

Here's how rent prices have changed since October 2020.
During October 2021, the median rent in Denver landed at $1,498 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,835 for a two-bedroom. But as high as these figures may seem, they're actually lower than in six of ten metro-area communities displayed in the Apartment List graphic. The roster is topped by Broomfield, where the median price for a two-bedroom apartment is just under $2,320.
The higher rents in Denver suburbs are further detailed in the following chart, which shows median one-bedroom and two-bedroom rents along with both month-over-month and year-over-year rent growth. Parker has seen the highest year-over-year rent growth, at 21.1 percent, followed closely by Lone Tree and Westminster, both at 18.9 percent. But Parker's month-over-month rent actually held steady from September to October, and prices fell over that span in Lone Tree, Arvada, Broomfield, Littleton and Englewood.
Could more relief be in the offing? As the January 2021 dip demonstrated, rent prices tend to slip in Denver during the cold-weather months owing to lower demand. For hard-pressed Denver renters, that could mean the first significant relief in the better part of a year — as long as they're willing to move when it's freezing outside.
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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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