Apartment vacancy rates decline

Apartment vacancy rates jumped to their highest level in a year in Grand Junction, but the average monthly rent also increased nearly $25.

According to the latest results of a survey conducted for the Colorado Division of Housing, the average apartment vacancy rate in Grand Junction climbed to 7.7 percent during the third quarter. The latest rate is up 1.4 percent from the second and first quarters of 2011 and at its highest level since hitting 7.9 percent in the third quarter of 2010.

A vacancy rate of 5 percent is considered an equilibrium between supply and demand.

Apartment vacancy rates also increased in neighboring Western Colorado cities during the third quarter of 2011 — to 9 percent in Montrose, 5.5 percent in Glenwood Spings and 4.3 percent in Aspen. The average vacnacy rate for all metro areas in Colorado fell two-tenths to 5 percent.

In Grand Junction, the apartment vacancy rate was lowest at 5.6 percent for efficiency apartments and highest at 9 percent for one-bedroom apartments.

The vacancy rate was the lowest at 4.7 percent for small apartment buildings with two to eight units and the highest at 8.2 percent for large buildings with 100 to 199 units.

The average monthly rent in Grand Junction was reported at $655.58 for the third quarter, up $24.48 from the second quarter, but still down $1.37 from the first quarter.

By comparison, the average monthly rent was lower in the third quarter in Montrose at $624.80, but higher in Glenwood Springs at $842.41. The statewide average was higher still at $898.15.