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Where Metro Denver Rent Has Gone Down — and Where It Hasn't

The sprawling Solana Old Towne Station apartment complex at 6875 West 56th Avenue in Arvada has one-bedroom, one-bath units available starting at $1,580 per month.
The sprawling Solana Old Towne Station apartment complex at 6875 West 56th Avenue in Arvada has one-bedroom, one-bath units available starting at $1,580 per month.
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While home costs in and around Denver keep rising during the COVID-19 pandemic, rents have dipped in many local communities — but not all of them. In fact, a new report reveals that renters will be paying more than they did this time last year in six of ten metro locations.

The December study from Apartment List reveals that rents in Denver proper dropped by 0.9 percent over the past month, continuing a trend: Citywide, rents are 5 percent lower in Denver this year than in 2019.

Of course, rent prices vary widely from neighborhood to neighborhood. But in Denver as a whole, the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment currently stands at $1,270, while the median two-bedroom rent is calculated at $1,550.

Falling prices aren't keeping renters from looking outside the center city for new places to roost, however. Indeed, a November analysis by Apartment List suggests that more and more Denver renters are moving to the suburbs. Factors include a desire for more space for those working from home, and lower traffic volume, which makes commutes for those still heading to job sites far less of a headache.

The desirability of Denver suburbs is reflected in the median prices recorded by Apartment List for the December study. For example, median rent in Thornton went up 2 percent month over month and 2.7 percent year over year. Likewise, the median rent in Arvada climbed by 0.6 percent in the past month, nearly matching its 0.7 year-over-year jump. And although rents were flat in Parker, recently named the second-best city in the U.S., they've risen a sizable 2.6 percent since this time in 2019.

Here are the current median rents in Denver and nine surrounding municipalities:

Despite the drop in Denver, rents in many suburbs still remain lower than those in the core city. A two-bedroom in Arvada, for example, has a median rent more than $100 per month lower than in the Mile High proper. The median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Littleton, however is actually higher than in Denver.

As in Denver, median rents are also down in other major Colorado cities — off 5.3 percent in Colorado Springs and 2.6 percent in Fort Collins — as well as in the state as a whole.

In general, Colorado median rents are 1.3 percent lower than they were twelve months ago. But bargains can't be found everywhere — not yet, anyway.

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