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Report: Denver's above-average rents keep rising, but not as fast as other places

The report shows Denver's year-over-year increase of 5.8% is lower than the national average of 8.4%.

DENVER — A new report shows Denver residents have been steadily paying more and more for rent over the past several months, and they're paying significantly more than they were paying a year ago.

According to Apartment List's July 2021 Denver Rent Report, Denver rents have increased 3.0% over the past month and are up 5.8% compared to the same time last year.

The median rent is now $1,387 for a one-bedroom apartment in Denver and $1,700 for a two-bedroom unit, the report says. The national average price of a two-bedroom apartment is $1,194.

This has been the fifth straight month that Denver has seen rent increases after a decline in January, according to the report.

Still, the report says, Denver's year-over-year rent growth is well below the state average of 9.5% and the national average of 8.4%.

Rents have also gone up across the metro area, the report says. Of the largest 10 cities for which the report has data, all of them have seen prices go up.

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The report compares Denver rents to those across the country and makes the following findings:

  • While Denver's rents rose significantly over the past year, many cities nationwide saw decreases, including San Francisco (-10.2%), Seattle (-3.9%), and Washington, DC (-3.7%).
  • Renters will generally find higher prices in Denver than in most similar cities. For example, Phoenix has a median two-bedroom rent of $1,309.

One reason for the spike in prices might be a rise in demand brought on by renters who were living with family or other friends away from larger cities during the peak of the pandemic but have now returned, according to one expert. 

"...And so a lot of those folks that maybe were taking advantage of remote work to kind of spend the previous year living somewhere, maybe a little bit more quiet or a little bit more affordable, a lot of those folks are now starting to come back to big cities," said Apartment List Senior Economist Chris Salviati. "I think a lot of the surrounding suburbs, actually, were seeing prices go up kind of throughout the pandemic. Again, a lot of that, I think, is a reflection of sort of shifting preferences, again, with remote work."

More information is available in Apartment List's National Rent Report. You can also see their full data for cities and counties across the U.S

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