Denver one-bedroom rent jumped a massive almost 27% over the past year

Will this fast growth slow down soon?

The Union Denver on Chestnut Place. Dec. 12, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The Union Denver on Chestnut Place. Dec. 12, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

kyle harris

Rent continues to rise in Denver and nationwide.

Denver’s median one-bedroom rent rose a shocking 26.6% from this time last year, according to data from the online rental site Zumper. That year-over-year growth far surpasses the also high rise in rates the city experienced, year over year, in recent months.

Based on May rental data, the median price for one-bedrooms in Denver was $1,760 in May. The two bedrooms’ median price was $2,170. Two bedrooms saw 14.8 % growth.

The company ranked the city as the 15th most expensive rental market in the United States.

Across the United States, the rental market has been hitting all-time highs — though national growth has been slower than Denver’s. Nationally, one-bedroom median rent is up 12.8% at $1,414, and two-bedroom rent is up 13.9% at $1,758.

The most expensive city to rent in is New York, where one-bedroom median rent is $3590.

The market might cool down soon — at least, nationally.

“Our month-over-month data for May shows the median one-bedroom rent rose by 0.3 percent relative to April, with two beds up 0.7 percent,” wrote Jeff Andrews, author of Zumper’s Rental Report. “Those numbers represent not only a cool down relative to recent months in percentage terms, but also in terms of raw dollar amounts. Furthermore, it was this time last year that rent really started to pop, with month-over-month numbers breaching 2 percent in June and July. The trend line so far in 2022 does not suggest that’s about to happen, though we’ll find out in a month.”

In Denver, the rate of growth may be higher than national trends because the city has a massive housing shortage for both affordable and market-rate units.

But even the Denver home-sales market has been cooling off some, suggesting Denver might also see slower growth, if not a reduction in rent.

Larger economic factors might also slow down rent hikes.

“Rising interest rates have pushed the cost of borrowing up to the point that’s eating into home prices,” wrote Andrews. “Inventory is rising, and some economists are forecasting a full halt to home price appreciation, and even a correction in overheated markets…

“Given rapidly rising home prices have contributed to rapidly rising rents,” he added, “it’s natural to think the housing market chill could do the same to the rental market.”

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