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Median rental prices in Parker in 2017:
January — $1,200
February — $1,200
March — $1,240
May — $1,360
January — $1,530
February — $1,520
March — $1,540
April — $1,560
May — $1,630
Median United States rental price for a one-bedroom unit in May: $1,169
Median United States rental price for a two-bedroom unit in May: $1,392
Median Denver rental price for a one-bedroom unit in May: $1,270
Median Denver rental price for a two-bedroom unit in May: $1,710
Colorado rents increased 2.8 percent since May 2016.
Golden rents grew the most rapidly in the metro area, with a 6.1 percent increase over 2016. A median two-bedroom apartment costs $1,510, while one-bedrooms go for $1,200.
Lone Tree has the most expensive rents of the largest cities in the Denver metro area, with a two-bedroom median price of $1,940. Rents in Lone Tree increased 1.5 percent over the past month and 3.5 percent over the past year.
Denver proper has the least expensive rents in the region, with a two-bedroom median of $1,310. Rents grew 0.9 percent over the past month and 1.7 percent over the past year.
One danger to escalating rental prices is the “pricing out” of people who want to live near their jobs but can’t afford it, says Crystal Chen, data analyst with the Zumper website used by renters to locate apartments nationwide.
It’s a problem Patricia Wells knows firsthand.
Wells moved to Parker in April for a job with a digital marketing company that failed, and has been struggling to afford her $1,500-a-month rent ever since. She is about to begin a job at a local grocery store to make ends meet, but she worries she still won’t make enough money to pay her bills.
“I’m frustrated and terrified,” Wells said in an email. “I have a master’s degree, 20 years of marketing experience and an empty bank account. Literally.”
Her apartment is too small for a roommate, she said, and she can’t buy out her lease. Wells, who is in her late 40s, recently had to apply for food assistance from Douglas County Human Services and fears she’ll be homeless soon.
“Yes, I got myself into this pickle, “ she said, “But if I had more housing options when I moved here, it would be a much smaller pickle.”
For three straight months rental prices have increased in Parker, driving the median monthly cost of one-bedroom apartments to $1,360 and two-bedroom units to $1,630, according to a report on the metro Denver region from Zumper, a website used by renters to locate apartments nationwide.The rise represents a 7 percent increase over the past year and a 4.8 percent jump since April. Broomfield ranked first on the list at $1,440 for a one-bedroom unit, while Centennial tied Parker for the second-priciest rental market in May.Crystal Chen, data analyst with Zumper, said it’s a simple case of supply and demand in a desirable place to live.“It’s an appealing place to move to … especially for people who want to move to Denver for a job but don’t want to live right in the middle of it all,” Chen said. “There’s an increase in renters who want to move to the area, and that’s higher than the supply.”Parker Community Development Director John Fussa agreed with Chen’s assessment of Parker’s appeal, and wasn’t surprised by the findings. He added that the demand includes housing options beyond apartments and extends beyond Parker’s borders.“There’s been what I would call a wave of multi-family housing developments in the Denver metro region,” Fussa said. “We’ve seen an increase in demand in all forms, whether it’s townhomes, paired houses, multi-family rentals or condominiums.”Close to 2,000 rental units are currently either proposed, approved or under construction in Parker, but Fussa said new projects have reached a plateau.“Most apartment projects that we know of are already approved or under construction,” he said. Those “projects address the demand we’re seeing for the moment.”All but two or three projects in the works, such as the Pine Bluffs project recently approved by town council, are primarily market-rate apartments with relatively high rent levels, Fussa said. Others, including the Vantage Point project under construction near the intersection of Parker Road and Cottonwood Drive, will be high-end luxury apartments.As such, the next issue to address, Fussa said, is providing attainable housing for young families, employees in Parker’s service and retail industries and seniors who want to downsize from houses to smaller living spaces.“We’re meeting the need for multi-family housing at present,” Fussa said. But “the demand for workforce housing and attainable housing is a continual issue and a challenge for the region and the town.”
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