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Apartment rents stalling in Denver, falling in Brighton

Apartment rents rose modestly across much of metro Denver last year, with the exception of Brighton, where they fell 6%, according to a year-end survey from Apartment List.

Nationally, the median rent on a two-bedroom apartment rose 1.4% last year, the survey found.

Gains among the 15-cities examined in metro Denver ranged from 7.8% in Lafayette and 4.1% in Golden to 0.8% in Denver, 0.7%in Lone Tree and 0.5% in Castle Rock.

Thornton rents were up 3.1%, while Arvada, Parker and Littleton all measured two-bedroom rent increases of 2.1% last year. Westminster had a 1.5% increase, while Aurora rents were up 1.4%.

“Denver’s current rate of growth is particularly low, but we did see a similar stretch of sub-1% growth in the late summer and early fall of 2018,” said Chris Salviati, a housing economist with Apartment List, an apartment listing service.

Denver’s median two-bedroom rent of $1,350 is above the national average of $1,192, according to Apartment List. But Denver apartment rents are the second-lowest in the metro area after Wheat Ridge, a reflection of the large supply of older units in those two cities.

Lone Tree had the highest median two-bedroom rent at $2,010 a month in December, followed by Thornton at $1,940 and Lafayette and Littleton at $1,900.

Denver apartment rents rose between 6% to 8% in 2015, but they starting slowing in 2016, rising only 1.6% in December of that year. They haven’t risen faster than 3% since, according to Apartment List.

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