NOWHERE BUT UP: Aurora rental hikes top list of national increases

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AURORA | Bully for you, Aurora landlords.

Rents have risen more in Aurora than in any other large city in the country since 2014, according to new data compiled by the San Francisco-based real estate firm Apartment List.

The cost to rent a haunt in Aurora has gone up 35 percent in the past five years, according to Apartment List’s March data.

That’s nearly three times more than the rate at which rents have risen across the country over the same period.

Rents in Aurora have risen more since 2014 than any other large city in America as the cost to rent a home in Aurora has increased 35 percent. Sentinel Colorado file photo

The median monthly rent for a one-bedroom pad in Aurora was $1,242 last month, according to Apartment List data. Aurorans living in two-bedroom spots are paying about $1,573 a month.

Rents are still most affordable in north Aurora and Del Mar Parkway, where the average check written to a landlord clocks in at about $1,050 each month, according to RentCafé, another apartment search and data site based in Santa Barbara, California.

The current average — different than the median — monthly rent for an Aurora apartment is $1,327, according to RentCafé.

The only other Colorado city named in Apartment List’s tally of large cities with substantial rent growth since 2014 was Colorado Springs, where rents have shot up about 31 percent in the past five years.

Other cities with an increase in rent of at least 25 percent since 2014 include Stockton, California, Arlington, Texas, Anaheim, California and Long Beach, California.

Denver did not make the list of top 10 cities.

“It seems that while the metro’s core city (Denver) is driving job growth in the region, the surrounding suburbs are seeing the biggest impacts to their rental markets,” Chris Salviati, a housing economist at Apartment List wrote in an April report.

Nancy Burke, vice president of government and community affairs for the Apartment Association of Metro Denver, said while rents in the state’s capital city have been buoyed by booming development of new high-rise apartments, developers have left markets like Aurora in the lurch.

“There’s only so many developers to go around,” Burke said. “And Aurora is in need of more housing, so that’s why the prices are going up — it’s supply and demand.”

Although average monthly rents have recently dipped across the metro region, Burke said housing affordability is only poised to get worse in the coming decade. She said the metro area will need about 100,000 new units by 2030 to support a healthy market, but development is not on pace to meet that mark.

“I kind of frame it as growing pains for our metro area,” she said.

Burke added that the construction defects reforms passed by the state Legislature in 2017 lacked teeth and have yet to spur developers to build more affordable condominiums. She said new construction in the region currently comprises about 97 percent apartments and just 3 percent condos.

Burke said if legislators want to bolster the state’s housing market, they’ll need to reassess construction defects reform.

“We need to get back on that horse so we can have a balanced housing portfolio in the metro area,” she said.

In the meantime, Aurorans will have to continue to find ways to inspirit their piggy banks. Apartment List recently reported city residents renting a median-priced two-bedroom apartment need to make about $2,150 more a year over the local median income to be able to pay rent without becoming “cost burdened.” The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development defines “cost burden” as using more than 30 percent of one’s income for housing costs.

Aurora was the only Colorado city to be ranked on Apartment List’s recent compilation of cities with cost burden shortfall issues. At the top of the list was New York City, where residents making a median income would need to make about $42,000 more a year to be able to adequately pay for a median-priced two-bedroom apartment.