Denver-metro apartment rents still on the rise with Thornton, Littleton the most expensive

RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post The RiDE at RiNo has units that range from 369 square feet up to 849 square feet in Denver. Photo taken on March 12, 2019.

Apartment rents for two-bedroom units rose across metro Denver in March, ranging from a 5.8 percent annual gain in Thornton to a more modest rise of 1.2 percent in Castle Rock, according to a monthly update from Apartment List.

Golden was the exception, with rents there dropping 0.3 percent over the year to $1,520.

Although Denver may have a reputation as the most expensive place to rent an apartment in the metro area, that only applies to its pricey neighborhoods like Cherry Creek and Downtown. Across all of Denver, the median two-bedroom apartment rent was $1,350 a month in March and rents were rising 2 percent a year, according to Apartment List.

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“Denver continues to have a super hot economy that’s adding a ton of jobs, so rents are continuing to rise in spite of the new supply. That said, the new supply is definitely helping — rent growth in Denver has slowed significantly from where it was a couple of years ago,” said Chris Salviati, a housing economist with Apartment List.

Contrast that with Thornton and Littleton, where median rents for a two-bedroom unit came in at $1,890 in March, the highest in the survey. Thornton rents increased 5.8 percent, the most in the survey, while they rose 4 percent in Littleton.

Brighton wasn’t far behind with a median two-bedroom rent of $1,820 a month and an annual gain of 5.2 percent.

The lack of new apartment construction in the northeast metro area, combined with strong demand for worker housing because of oil and gas drilling to the north, appears to be putting upward pressure on prices in those markets.

Rent growth statewide was running 2.1 percent, with rents in Fort Collins up 2 percent and Colorado Springs up 1.8 percent, according to Apartment List.

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