As posted by Aldo Svaldi of The Denver Post _______________
A new year is bringing no relief to renters across the metro area, two separate reports show.
Metro Denver rents, including both homes and apartments, rose at triple the U.S. annual rate in January, according to a report Friday from Zillow.
The Zillow Rent Index for Denver showed a 10.2 percent jump in monthly rents to $1,827 between January and January 2014.
That was the third highest rent increase of 35 major metro area that Zillow tracks after San Francisco, up 14.9 percent, and nearby San Jose, up 13.4 percent.
"Since 2000, rents have grown roughly twice as fast as wages, and you don't have to be an economist to understand why that is hugely problematic," noted Stan Humphries, chief economist with Zillow.
Rising rents combined with flat incomes are making it much more difficult for renters, who represent a third of U.S. households, to save the money needed for down payments to buy a home.
"The rental market used to be and should remain a stepping-stone to homeownership. But given how widespread rental affordability problems have become, the rental market could be acting more like a barrier to buying," Humphries said.
A report from Apartment List in San Francisco, which is more focused on apartments, also found Denver rent increases at triple the U.S. average in January.
Rents on two-bedroom apartments across metro Denver, not including Boulder, are up 9.5 percent on an annual basis versus a 2.9 percent gain for the U.S.
Centennial had the biggest rent increase of any suburb at 14.1 percent, which pushed the average two-bedroom rents there to $1,310 a month.
LoDo is the most expensive neighborhood with rents on a two-bedroom of $2,920 a month, double the city of Denver average.
Broomfield remained the most expensive suburban apartment market with an average rent on a two-bedroom of $1,480. But rental increases there were moderating — up only 2.2 percent on the year.
Aurora still had the cheapest apartments in the metro area at $850 a month, but rents rose 12.8 percent year-over-year, the fastest among the large cities in Apartment List's universe.
That was the fastest pace among the larger-population cities that Apartment List tracks. Rents continue to rise despite a robust supply of new apartments hitting the market. Many of those apartments, however, are being built on the high-end, which in itself could be pushing up rents.
Aldo Svaldi: 303-954-1410, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/aldosvald