That marks the lowest fourth-quarter vacancy rate at least since 2007, when Colorado Division of Housing began tracking the vacancy rate for each quarter. Prior to 2007, the division tracked the state markets in the first and third quarters. The vacancy rate was down slightly from the fourth quarter of 2010, when it stood at 5.8 percent.
Only Greeley reported year-over-year increases. In Greeley, the vacancy rate rose from 5.1 percent during the fourth quarter of 2010 to 6.4 percent during the fourth quarter of 2011. The vacancy rate declined in all other areas. The largest drop was found in Pueblo where the vacancy rate fell from 10.2 percent during the fourth quarter of 2010 to 7.3 percent during the same period of 2011.
The metro Denver vacancy rate during 2011’s fourth quarter, released last month in a separate survey, fell year over year from 5.5 percent to 5.4 percent.
“We’ve seen year-over-year drops in vacancies in all metros except Greeley for at least the past four quarters,” said Ron Throupe, a professor of real estate at the University of Denver’s Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management, and the report’s author. “Markets have begun to respond with new construction, but little of that has come online so far.”
Vacancy rates in all metropolitan areas were:
- Colorado Springs, 6.7 percent.
- Ft. Collins/Loveland, 3.4 percent.
- Grand Junction, 7.0 percent.
- Greeley, 6.4 percent;
- Pueblo, 7.3 percent.
Average rents across the state have increased as vacancies have fallen.
The statewide average rent in Colorado increased 3.2 percent from 2010’s fourth quarter to 2011’s fourth quarter, rising from $871 to $900. Across metro areas in the state, however, growth in average rents varied considerably. The average rent in the Greeley area, for example, increased 7.0 percent, year over year, while the average rent in Pueblo fell 3.2 percent. During the same period, the average rent in Colorado Springs increased 5.0 percent while the average rent in Grand Junction rose 3.8 percent.
The largest increase in the average rent was found in the Fort Collins/Loveland area where it rose 9.1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010 to 2011’s fourth quarter.
“The overall trend in rents continues upward and rent increases in Fort Collins, Greeley and Colorado Springs were quite substantial during the fourth quarter,” said Ryan McMaken, a spokesman with the Colorado Division of Housing. “This is likely to continue in the near term as more households look to rental housing and if in-migration from other states remains strong.”
Average rents in all metropolitan areas measured were:
- Colorado Springs; $775
- Ft. Collins/Loveland, $973.
- Grand Junction, $640.
- Greeley, $677.
- .Pueblo, $535.
The metro Denver average rent, measured in a separate survey, was $932 during the fourth quarter.
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