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No Vacancy: Tight Market Challenges Apartment Hunters

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Matt Scott
/
Creative Commons/Flickr

Finding rental housing in northern Colorado continues to be a challenge, with vacancies near historic lows in the third quarter of 2013.

A new report from the Colorado Division of Housing finds apartment vacancy rates at 2.8 percent in the Fort Collins-Loveland area, and only 1.3 percent in Greeley.

Anything below 5 percent is considered a tight market.

Economist Ryan McMaken says it’s closely correlated to a job market that’s been improving for the last several years.

"If we look at the employment data we just see overall, slow improvements throughout Greeley, and substantial improvements throughout Larimer County," McMaken says. "And that doesn’t seem to be going away."

The growing oil and gas industry is a major factor in Greeley’s ultra-tight rental market, which is currently at an 18-year low.

September’s floods have contributed slightly to the shortage of rental housing – but McMaken notes that the impact is confined to a limited number of households.

At the same time that availability is being squeezed, rents have been going up. Average rent is up from the third quarter of 2012 across the Front Range, with the highest rents found in Denver and Fort Collins.

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