The vacancy rate in the Fort Collins-Loveland area rose to 5.1 percent during 2013’s first quarter, rising from 2012’s first-quarter rate of 3.0 percent, according to the Colorado Division of Housing.
In Greeley over the same period, the vacancy rate dropped to 1.4 percent from 5.8 percent.
Rents continued to rise, however, with the Fort Collins-Loveland area registering the highest average rent statewide, at $1,036 per month. Greeley rents remained lower at $704 per month. And for the first time in the past year, the area surpassed Denver metro in average rent prices, according to Ryan McMaken, an economist with the Colorado Division of Housing.
“It’s become one of the state’s high-rent areas,” McMaken said.
The Boulder-Broomfield area is pricey as well, with an average monthly rent of $1,150, but those numbers are included in the metro Denver aggregated rent figure, giving the Fort Collins-Loveland area the lead in the state.
The situation in northern Colorado continues to evolve, with the oil boom pushing vacancy rates down overall, McMaken said.
“Oil and gas growth has pushed the vacancy rate down to very low levels in Greeley, while the Fort Collins and Loveland areas continue to see low vacancies,” McMaken said in a statement. “Rates in Larimer County are only as high as they are because the county has seen a fair amount of new multifamily development in recent years.”
Colorado Springs also showed a declining vacancy rate with a first-quarter rate of 5.6 percent, which was the lowest vacancy rate reported in that region since 2001. The metro Denver vacancy rate, measured last month in a separate survey, fell year-over-year from 4.9 percent to 4.6 percent.
Vacancy rates varied considerably in different metros of the state, however, with Northern Colorado and metro Denver showing some of the state’s lowest rates, while vacancy rates increased in southern Colorado and western Colorado.
A vacancy rate of 5 percent or below suggests a tight market. The statewide composite vacancy rate and average rent includes metro Denver.