Rents decrease for the sixth month in a row in Denver

Apartment List put the median for a two-bedroom at $1,580 in September, down 5 percent compared to the same month last year.

Construction at 3433-3463 Walnut St. RiNo, Five Points. Aug. 27, 2020.

Construction at 3433-3463 Walnut St. RiNo, Five Points. Aug. 27, 2020.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Donna Bryson. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Rents in Denver have been dropping since the coronavirus arrived, with the latest figures from the online real estate company Apartment List putting the median for a two-bedroom at $1,580 in September, down 5 percent compared with September 2019.

It was the sixth month that rents decreased in Denver after an increase in March, the month government-ordered restrictions on businesses started in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Overall, Apartment List said, Denver rents have fallen 4 percent since March.

Apartment List estimates are based on data from both the Census and the company’s own information about leases. Zumper, another online real estate company, looks at its own and other listings in hundreds of cities across the country.

Zumper’s rent report for September put Denver’s median for a two-bedroom at $1,920, down 1.5 percent from August and 4 percent compared with September 2019.

The Apartment Association of Metro Denver coordinates a quarterly survey conducted by the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business and Colorado Economic and Management Associates. According to the most recent report from that local survey, released in July, the median rent for an apartment dropped 1.4 percent to $1,454 between the first quarter of this year and the quarter that started with the arrival of the coronavirus. Though the drop was slight, it was the first time in a decade that the survey found a decrease.

Housing costs have for years risen faster than incomes in Denver. The economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus has raised fears that families that were already struggling would not be able to stay housed, leading to expansions of rental assistant programs and calls for eviction moratoria.

Landlords and property managers who are part of the Colorado Apartment Association say tenants have been able to keep up with the rent. Landlords collected rent from just over 95 percent of tenants as of Sep. 20, the Colorado Apartment Association said, adding that was up slightly from the Aug. 20 percentage and only slightly below the Sep. 20, 2019, figure.

The apartment association added that across the state, 1,617 evictions were filed in September, compared to 2,547 in September 2019. The apartment association has opposed eviction moratoria and urged tenants to work out payment plans with landlords and seek rental assistance.

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