Springs apartment vacancy above state average

Apartment vacancy rates in Colorado Springs were above the state average in the first quarter of this year.

The city was also just one of a few metro areas in the state where vacancy rates were higher than last year.

The vacancy rate was 6.4 percent in Colorado Springs, which was up from 5.8 percent in the first quarter of 2011. It was also significantly higher than the state-wide 11-year-low of 5.2 percent vacancy, according to a report released today from the Colorado Division of Housing.

Increases in demand for rentals were uneven across the state with vacancy rates falling year-over-year in Pueblo, metro Denver and Fort Collins, but rising in Colorado Springs, Grand Junction and Greeley.

The rising vacancies likely reflected muted job growth in those markets, according to the report. In March, unemployment rates were above 9 percent in all three areas.

The combined state-wide vacancy rate fell to the lowest first-quarter vacancy rate recorded since 2001, according to the report.

Rent is on the rise across the state – including some of the cities with vacancy increases, according to the report.

The statewide average rent in Colorado increased 4.6 percent from 2011’s first quarter to 2012’s first quarter, rising from $873 to $914. It was $754 in Colorado Springs.

The average rent in Colorado Springs increased 2.4 percent, and it fell 4.8 percent in Grand Junction, year over year.

The largest increase in the average rent was found in the Fort Collins-Loveland area where it rose 11.1 percent from the first quarter of 2011 to 2012’s first quarter.