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Aurora Rents Zoomed Up Faster Than Any Other US City In March
The Denver Post 4/10/15
By: Aldo Svaldi
Area renters in a desperate hunt to find an affordable place to live continued to push up Aurora apartment rents at the fastest pace of any major U.S. city, according to a report Friday from Apartment List.
Rents for two-bedroom apartments listed in Aurora were 13.8 percent higher in March than the same month a year earlier, while one-bedroom rents were up 12.9 percent, according to the rent survey, which is based on hundreds of thousands of listings.
As it has for the past few months, Aurora continued to hold the top spot for rent increases out of the 100 cities that San Francisco-based Apartment List tracks. Denver held the fourth spot.
"Renters are very price-sensitive and skew heavily toward lower incomes," said Max Rosett, a data scientist at Apartment List who put together the survey.
When rents in Denver and other more expensive suburbs, such as Broomfield, reach the point where people are priced out of the market, they will flock to less expensive alternatives, such as Aurora, Rosett said.
The core problem is that supply has failed to keep up with demand in metro Denver, Rosett said, and that has put intense pressures on home prices and rents.
How intense? Apartment List reports that rents nationally on a two-bedroom apartment rose 2.5 percent year-over-year in March.
Two-bedroom rents in Aurora jumped 2.6 percent between February and March. Metro Denver had a 9 percent annual gain in rent.
Metro Denver's apartment vacancy rate is at 4.8 percent, considered extremely low, and that has allowed landlords to raise rents.
Investors are buying up older apartment buildings, refurbishing them, and renting them out at higher prices.
And while 10,000 new apartments a year are expected to come online for the next three or four years, many of them target the higher end of the market, whereas demand is strongest on the lower end.
Aurora, Centennial and Westminster reported the biggest rental gains gains among Denver-area cities last month, while Broomfield, Thornton and Arvada had some of the weakest.
Broomfield had the highest average two-bedroom apartment rent in March among Denver's suburbs at $1,530 a month. Denver neighborhoods with the highest rent included City Park West at $2,720 a month and LoDo at $2,550 a month.
Aurora had the lowest rent among metro-area cities, with one-bedrooms averaging $860 a month and two-bedrooms going for $1,150.
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