If you’ve been looking for a rental in the Northern Colorado area, you’re probably finding that the availability is somewhat limited. The rental housing market in Northern Colorado has seen a consistent demand and growth for several years. Average rental prices are hitting new record highs while vacancy rates are at record lows. The demand for rental homes or apartments is greater than the supply of available units. This “tight market” with low vacancy rates has caused rent prices to grow, making it difficult for renters to find housing.

How Much Have Rental Prices Changed?

In 2014, the Colorado Division of Housing reported that the Fort Collins and Loveland area vacancy rates had reached a thirteen-year low of 1.7 percent. Greeley’s vacancy rate at the time was about 2.35 percent. Neither area has seen much change to those numbers in the years since. In fact, RealtyTrac recently reported that Fort Collins ranked second among US cities with low vacancy rates. According to RealtyTrac, a typical vacancy rate for a city is approximately three percent; currently, Fort Collins’ vacancy rate is around 0.2 percent. In February 2016, it was reported that there were fewer than 250 vacancies across the city.

A low vacancy rate has brought on higher rent for available properties, presenting a challenge in affordability for many renters in Northern Colorado cities. In 2015, average rent prices in Fort Collins set a record at $1369 per month. Average rent in Loveland at the time was not far off at a rate of about $1026 per month. Coming in on the more affordable end of the pricing spectrum was Greeley, with an average rental cost of $793 per month.

What’s Causing Low Availability in Rental Properties?

Both vacancy and rental rates are the result of a number of factors. Some contributing factors include higher home prices, a shortage of available homes for sale, job growth, and an increasing number of people moving to the area. These factors have led many potential homebuyers to the rental market as a temporary solution, further compounding the balance of supply and demand.

Surprisingly, the influx of people moving to Larimer County isn’t just from out of state transplants, such as California, Texas and Iowa. Many of the people moving to Larimer County are from right here in Colorado. Specifically, most new Larimer County residents are moving from Weld County.

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