The COVID-19 pandemic is upending the U.S.’s rental market, with prices dropping in large, expensive cities but rising in typically more affordable locations, a report from Apartment List found.
This trend can be seen in Colorado where Denver’s rental market is dipping while the markets in nearby cities such as Aurora and Colorado Springs are on the up.
In March, Denver’s apartment vacancy rate was 7.6%, having decreased by 0.1% since the beginning of the year, the report found. By November, it had increased to 7.9%, peaking in May at 9.0%.
The city’s rent prices have decreased even more consistently. Denver’s average apartment rent has lowered each month since March, going from a 1.3% increase compared to January to a 4.4% decrease by November.
But in Aurora, vacancies have lowered during the pandemic, going from 6.5% in March to 5.2% in November. Rent prices have also risen from a 0.4% increase in March to a 0.8% increase in November, compared to January.
A similar change has been even more drastic in Colorado Springs. From March to November, the city saw vacancies drop from 7.5% to 5.5% and rent rise from a 0.5% increase to a whopping 5.4% increase, compared to January.
According to the report, there are two driving forces behind these market trends: Some renters leaving and others not coming.
Nationally, this has caused vacancies to rise and rent to fall rapidly in cities such as San Francisco and New York, as the opposite happens in cities like Fresno, California and Tucson, Arizona.
While these trends will not be undone quickly, the report said the upcoming spring and summer seasons will be critical as COVID-19 vaccinations could revitalize urban areas.
The full national report is available online at apartmentlist.com.