Denver’s median rent grew by nearly 46% in a year, report says

The Mile High City ranks in the top 10 in a list of the most expensive cities in the U.S.

By Kate Tracy  –  Reporter , Denver Business Journal

Denver’s median rent has increased by 45.7% in the past year, ranking the Mile High City at No. 9 in a list of the most expensive cities in the U.S., according to a recent nationwide rent report. 

The median asking rent in August for Denver-area tenants was $2,550, according to a new report from Dwellsy, a rental listing company based in Los Altos, California. 

New York led the list with the most expensive median asking rent at $3,021 and a 19.7% increase year over year. Boston and San Jose, California, tied for the second most expensive cities in the country, at $3,000.

Three other Colorado metro areas also made Dwellsy’s list of small cities with the most expensive rents.

The most expensive was Colorado’s mountain town of Silverthorne, which ranked No. 1 in Dwellsy’s list of small cities. Silverthorne’s median asking rent in August 2022 was $3,500, a 22.8% increase from last year. Boulder followed with a No. 5 ranking, while the Fort Collins/Loveland area ranked No. 8 for small cities, with respective rents of $2,850 and $2,730. Boulder’s rent went up by 36% in a year, while the Fort Collins and Loveland market went up by a whopping 70.6%, according to the report.

The eye-popping rent increase in Fort Collins was not even the largest yearly increase for Colorado markets.

Greeley beat Fort Collins, with an 80.9% increase in median rent from August 2021 to $2,350, ranking No. 7 on a list of cities with the fastest-growing rent in the country.

Tucson, Arizona, Springfield, Missouri, and Anderson, South Carolina, rounded out the top three cities with the fastest growing rent year over year. All three cities, as well as Kansas City, Missouri, had more than 100% rent increases from August 2021 to August 2022, according to Dwellsy. 

When it came to a breakdown of single-family home rental rates, Denver did not make the top 10 most expensive cities. The three California metro areas of San Jose, Salina and Santa Barbara rounded out the top three for most expensive median single-family home asking rent, at $3,695, $3,620 and $3,600 respectively. 

Dwellsy also broke down the most expensive cities by apartment rent alone, with New York again topping that list. Colorado cities also did not make the top 10 cities for most expensive rent for median apartment asking rent, according to the report. 

The rise in single-family rentals across the country is helping to drive the overall rise of rent, which has been increasing since November 2021, according to Dwellsy. Year over year, rent has increased 27.9% across the country, with single-family home rents going up by 36% and apartment rents only increasing by 4.7%. 

The Denver metro area has seen its fair share of build-to-rent subdivisions and single-family rentals popping up.

Phoenix-based NexMetro Communities has been an active player in the market, building more than 500 homes in Brighton Commerce City and Thornton. Denver developers McWhinney and BMC Investments have also started on build-to-rent projects in Denver’s suburbs in Broomfield, Loveland and Aurora, according to previous Denver Business Journal reporting

The Apartment Association of Metro Denver recently reported that Denver’s rent increased by 12.6% from last year, with a total of 388,263 apartment units in the metro area. During the second quarter of 2022, the Denver metro area’s vacancy rates were 4.7%, up from 3.7% during the same time last year.