Apartment vacancy rate drops in Grand Junction

Over the past year, Grand Junction has experienced the largest proportional decrease in average apartment vacancy rates among five metropolitan areas of Colorado.

According to the latest results of a quarterly survey conducted for the Colorado Division of Housing, the average apartment vacancy rate in Grand Junction fell to 6.3 percent during the first quarter of 2011. That’s down almost 46 percent from the 11.6 vacancy rate reported for the first quarter of 2010.

The average monthly rent in Grand Junction for the first quarter of 2011 was reported at $656.95. That’s up $40.37 from the fourth quarter of 2010, but $6.52 less than the first quarter of 2010.

The latest vacancy rate is the lowest since the second quarter of 2009, when the rate stood at 4.5 percent. Still, Grand Junction apartment vacancy rates remain triple and even quadruple the rates during the tight rental markets in 2007 and 2008. A rate of 5 percent is considered an equilibrium between supply and demand.

For the first quarter of 2011, the vacancy rate remained the lowest for efficiency apartments at 4.2 percent. The rate was highest for two-bedroom, one-bath units at 6.6 percent.

No vacancies were reported for small apartment buildings with eight or fewer units. The vacancy rate was highest at 7.1 percent for large apartment buildings with 100 to 199 units.

Average monthly rents ranged from $226 for efficiency apartments to $832.06 for three-bedroom units.

Average rents were lowest at $609.62 for apartment buildings with nine to 50 units and highest at $726.79 for buildings with 51 to 99 units.

In neighboring Montrose, the average apartment vacancy rate fell to 5 percent for the first quarter of 2011, down from 6.6 percent for the first quarter of 2010.

In Glenwood Springs, the vacancy rate was reported at 3.4 percent for the first quarter of 2011, up from 3.2 percent for the first quarter of 2010.

Montrose reported an average monthly rent of $642.91 during the first quarter of 2011, while the average rent was $837.55 in Glenwood Springs.

Statewide, increasing demand for rental housing pushed down apartment vacancies to a combined rate of 5.5 percent for March. The rate was 6.6 percent for the same month last year.

Vacancy rates fell to 3.8 percent in Greeley and 5.8 percent in Colorado Springs, both nine-year lows.