12:16pm

Sun March 16, 2014
Housing Market

Rent Spikes In Greeley Despite High Vacancy Rate

Average housing rentals in Greeley jumped dramatically at the end of 2013.
Credit J. Stephen Conn / Flickr - Creative Commons

Greeley’s fast growing economy and low unemployment rate does have its downsides. Rent is on the increase in the oil boomtown.

Monthly payments for an apartment climbed from an average of $671 to $756 between the third and fourth quarters of 2013. That’s according to a study by the Colorado Division of Housing.

Part of the explanation for the spike is that Weld County residents are opting to rent an apartment or house rather than purchasing a home. Since 2000, residents occupying property rentals have grown from 19,819 to 27,219 in 2012. The 9.2 percent rent increase in Greeley underscores the fact that the city came in 10th place nationally right after Boulder based on a report by the Milken Institute.

Another reason for the increase in rent is that the majority of workers in Greeley receive higher pay than the national average, earning between $50,000 and $74,999. In addition, 3400 jobs were added to the city’s economy between December 2012 and December 2013, according to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

If you are planning to move to Greeley you're more likely to find an apartment if you have a decent income or at least a roommate to help out with the bill. Two bedroom apartments have a 16.5 percent vacancy rate compared to the 3.3 percent availability of efficiency apartments. The catch? A typical two-bedroom/two- bathroom apartment skyrockets at just under $923 a month.

Despite Greeley's spike in rent, it's still way cheaper than the Fort Collins/Loveland area 20 miles away. The average rent there is a thumping $995 and has a vacancy rate of 2.1 percent, the lowest in the past decade. In contrast, Greeley hovers at a 6.3 percent rate of available rentals. Colorado overall has an average rent of $992.

While Northern Colorado's oil and agriculture industry can take responsibility for high wages and yes, high rent, it could be worse. Take the agricultural town of Williston, North Dakota where the oil boom has led to the highest rental rates in the country, according to statistics by Apartment Guide.

The price for an apartment there? $2,394.