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Despite booming demand, rents remain affordable relative to housing costs in Denver

March 06, 2019

Healthy Supply-Demand Balance

  • Denver likely saw peak construction in 2018 with an estimated 12,042 new units delivered in the calendar year.
  • Driven by another year of +42,000 new jobs added to the market and strong net in-migration, Denver experienced three quarters of record-level absorption in 2018 with occupancy averaging 94.5% during the year.

Rents Remain Affordable Relative to Housing Costs and Income

  • Denver has been one of the country’s fastest growing cities since the 2008 recession as the city has proved an attractive and affordable alternative to primary coastal cities.
  • The metro area’s average monthly apartment rent of $1,448 reflects a 60% discount to the median monthly homeownership cost, while average rents comprise just 23% of the median household income.   
  • In dollar terms, Denver is surpassed only by Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and San Diego for markets where the rent versus own delta is larger.
  • In 2018, average hourly earnings in Denver increased 6.2% while Boulder residents saw wages grow by a staggering 15% - only Seattle, Nashville, and Los Angeles saw larger wage increases than Denver.

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