Why is Rental Housing so Scarce in Denver?

So why is rental housing so scarce in Denver? If you’re looking for a rental property in the Denver area, you’ve probably figured out that they are few and far Why is Rental Housing so Scarce in Denver?between. Units go up for rent, and get rented out the same day, often with several different people looking. Rents are high which you would think would make the rental market slow down, but it hasn’t.

Denver, like elsewhere in the US, was hit hard by the housing down turn in 2008. There, as elsewhere, builders stopped building new homes and new apartment complexes. There was no more funding, not enough interest and they by and large cut their losses and stopped building. When things started turning around in late 2010 and into 2011, projects were still scarce, since old inventory was moving first. In Denver, prices for rentals never dropped precipitously as they did elsewhere. This is one reason why rental housing is so scarce in Denver.

Another reason why rentals are so hard to come by is purely economic. The recession caused a huge nationwide spike in home foreclosures. Those people had to live somewhere and lenders won’t write mortgages for a poor risk. That means those former homeowners had to rent. At the same time, many people who haven’t owned a home think twice about diving into home ownership. Younger people, just out of college or jumping from one job to another want flexibility, and owning a home means its takes longer to change locations, since you have to sell first.

With both situations hitting together, there are few rental units to be had. As the housing market has improved, some people who had foreclosures may find requirements relaxing, freeing up some rental units.

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