Median rent prices in Denver are cheaper than the 'burbs, and here's why

Our Colorado: Why rent prices are raising eyebrows
Posted at 6:07 PM, May 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-03 20:25:12-04

Editor's Note: 'Our Colorado' stories help natives and newcomers navigate the challenges related to our rapidly growing state, including real estate and development, homelessness, transportation and more. To comment on this or other 360 stories, email us at See more 'Our Colorado' stories here.

DENVER -- Apartment hunting in our Colorado brings some unique challenges and sticker shock is all part of that massive growth we're going through.

So, when you see some of those affordability rankings showing living in Denver is cheaper than the suburbs, it may have you scratching your head.

The median two-bedroom in Denver is renting for $1,300 a month, according to Apartment List. That’s cheaper than virtually every suburb, including Englewood, Littleton, Aurora and Castle Rock.

Even if it doesn't seem to add up - it's true.

“A lot of it just tends to be older,” said Greg Bacheller, co-owner of Real Property Management Colorado.

Experts say there are many factors, but for starters, places in most downtown neighborhoods are simply old.

“It was built 30, 50, 70 years ago, even some buildings downtown - they're 100 years old. And so they don't have the amenities, " he said. 

The suburbs tend to be more homogenous with newer buildings.

“The newer stuff, you're going to find the swimming pools and the hot tubs and the tennis courts and the lazy rivers,” Bacheller said. “Those are things older buildings don’t have.”

But, if you’re comparing apples to apples, a newer building in downtown with amenities versus a newer building in the suburbs with amenities, you’ll pay much more downtown.

The other main factor is shifting trends.

Bacheller says the amount of people wanting to live in the city center is starting to decline.

“Those who have lived here a while have been-there-done-that with downtown living,” Bacheller said. “They’ve had that urban experience and they realize just how congested it is, just how loud it can be, how much traffic there is."