BusinessDen apartment survey: Rents on the rise, but promotions also growing

Platform at Union Station has the highest effective rent this year, offering an advertised rent of $3,340 and no discounts. (Burl Rolett)

It continues to get more expensive to live in the massive apartment complexes popping up around Denver.

The average effective rent for a one-bedroom apartment at 27 large apartment buildings polled by BusinessDen was 5.8 percent higher in December 2018 than in December 2017, rising to $1,674 a month from $1,583.

Effective rent subtracts specials, such as a free month, from the advertised rent.

Download our Excel for the survey here

BusinessDen surveyed 33 high-end Denver apartment complexes, 27 of which had been previously included in its survey, which was conducted in mid-December. We requested the starting rent for one-bedroom units available in December or January, as well as promotions and discounts. A 12-month lease was requested, although in a handful of cases, properties insisted on a slightly shorter or longer period.

12 of 27 properties raised effective rent

Of the 27 properties polled in both 2017 and 2018, 15 raised their effective rent in 2018, with seven of them increasing it more than 10 percent.

One City Block Apartments in Uptown raised prices by a little over 30 percent this year, with rent jumping to $2,169. (Burl Rolett)

One City Block Apartments in Uptown raised prices the most in 2018, with a 31 percent increase in its effective rent, from $1,650 to $2,169.

Next were Eviva on Cherokee and 2785 Speer Apartments, which both raised their effective rent more than 20 percent.

The remaining 12 complexes lowered their effective rent by an average of 5.7 percent. This is a jump from last year’s survey, which found five of 22 complexes had lowered their effective rent.

Promotions top out at six weeks of free rent

The survey revealed that 21 properties held promotions, with some offering more than a month free rent.

Three properties — Steele Creek Apartments, Alexan West Highland and Infinity LoHi — offered six weeks of free rent. Last year’s BusinessDen poll found no promotions offering more than one month of free rent, although previous years found up to two months of free rent in some cases.

This year, eight properties offered one month of free rent, compared to six in 2017. Many offered to waive application fees, and Acoma in the Golden Triangle neighborhood offered a $750 gift card with a 12-month lease.

These high-end properties typically tout an array of amenities. Atelier at University Park, a newly opened complex near the University of Denver, boasts a rooftop jacuzzi, an indoor and outdoor pool, yoga room, gym and a pet-washing station.

“It has every amenity you could think of,” said Yitzchak Tessler, the New York-based developer responsible for Atelier. “I spent a lot of money to build it. It’s different than every other building in Denver.”

A leasing representative said in mid-December that the 273-unit complex opened about three weeks prior and was 6 percent leased. The complex is offering potential tenants one month free, which makes the effective rent $1,540 a month for a 13-month lease, compared to the advertised rent of $1,669 a month.

Union Station is the priciest neighborhood

Union Station was the priciest neighborhood, with six properties with rents higher than $1,500 and two for more than $2,000. The neighborhood also houses the apartment complex with the highest effective rent: Platform at Union Station offers no discounts and advertised rent of $3,340.

Last year’s poll indicated a similar trend: Five Union Station properties had effective rents of over $1,500, the most of any neighborhood. However, only two properties topped $2,000 in effective rent, both in the Golden Triangle neighborhood.

Six of this year’s surveyed properties surpassed $2,000 in effective rent for a one-bedroom apartment, indicating that more properties are willing to put a hefty price on their Denver properties.

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