Can someone give me a solid reason why renting in Boulder is so high?

I know about property value etc, but why has rent risen so significantly lately? What just a couple years ago would have been $1100/month is now $1450?
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Logan Aal PRO 2yrs+
Supply is at an all-time low in the Denver Metro Area which naturally causes rents to go up.
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HeatherS
HeatherS Do you think rent in BOulder will continue to climb and climb?
2yrs+
LoganMntMan
LoganMntMan That makes sense, rent seems pretty steep from what I here, thanks for the reply and link
2yrs+
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ForrestN Jul 29, 2016
Even two years since the question was asked, this is a question I am commonly asked. There have been some changes to the Boulder rental market, including the rental inventory. Yes the Boulder market is impacted by the limited resources from open space to height and building restrictions but most of the those have been absorbed into the market. The most recent items that seem to be driving rents up is the new Colorado law that builders are required to warranty their new condos for a period of 10 years. This has caused many new permits to be for apartment communities as opposed to condominiums. The new very nice housing stock is of course being rented for top dollar and increasing the overall rents. The older rentals are also being gentrified and brought back onto the market as fresh new and more expensive rentals. This essentially removes the lower priced rentals from the housing pool and permanently replaces it with a higher priced rental. Overall this has substantially increased the average rent for the entire pool. Of course the social effects are the lower priced tenants are probably not going to find anything in that price range in Boulder anymore and they will be replaced by tenants who can afford the higher rents. Unfortunately this seems to be the trend in Boulder and it doesn't appear to be turning around anytime soon. One example of this gentrification just occurred this year in my own neighborhood near Arapahoe and Eisenhower in east Boulder. There are about 1/2 dozen 4 plexes called Arapahoe Clusters that have been completely remodeled and are currently being rented out at substantially higher rents. It is very noticeable that the new tenants are driving nicer cars and the entire look of the area has become much fancier. There are applications for several other complexes in that immediate area to be completely redone. This also took place with the apartments on Broadway and Marine street over the last year with lower priced apartments being redone and replaced with higher priced apartments. Many of these units being remodeled are considered vacant so the vacancy factor can't always be relied upon as a true barometer for how healthy a market is at a single point in time. Many times a vacancy increase is an indicator that rents are poised to jump. For the next year or two it doesn't appear that there is anything to reduce rental rates but hopefully things will flatten out soon.
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Mary Beth Bonacci PRO 2yrs+
Yup. Rents were already high in Boulder for a couple of reasons. One, it's a college town, so there's high demand. Two, Boulder has fairly restrictive building policies. There is a lot of land reserved for conservation, and other policies in place to keep it from becoming overbuilt. As a result, there's less supply -- plus additional demand because it's a particularly desirable place to live. That drives up the price of owning a home, which a) makes homes more expensive to purchase, and hence requiring higher rent for landlords to break even, and b) drives potential buyers out of the sales market and into the rental market, increasing demand even more. On top of that, you have the increased pressure on the rental market lately because, as BroncoFan just pointed out, the rental market is now flooded with people who can't qualify for a mortgage because they have a foreclosure or short sale on their credit report. Add that all up, and it's not surprising that rents are skyrocketing in Boulder!
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Ian Barber PRO 2yrs+
Rents are increasing throughout the metro area in general. It all comes down to supply and demand. Currently occupancy rates are very high, meaning that there are very few vacant properties. This increase in demand means prices go up. Additionally, a market like Boulder typically has higher average sales price for a home then other areas in Denver. Once again, a higher priced real estate market means a higher priced rental market. Finally, as has already been touched upon, is the proximity to the University of Colorado. There is a constant demand for rental properties due to the school. Just like the neighborhoods around the University of Denver demand higher rental prices.
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kgustafson PRO 2yrs+
My answer is simple, because the parents of Boulder’s college kids will pay it!
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Eric Edwards PRO 2yrs+
Another reason it can be hard to find a rental in Boulder this time of year is all the college students who are renting. A good time to look is in April or May when the students are getting ready to head home for the summer. But as everyone else has said, it is a strong rental market with rents going up and low vacancy ratio's.
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Tom Kahn PRO 2yrs+
Rents are a function of sales price and demand, demand is high over 50% of our residents are tenants. I would anticipate rents to go higher as sales prices do as well plus by 2018 all rental properties will have to conform to a higher standard of energy savings, which cost prob will be passed on from landlord to tenant with a slight offset of lower x-cel bills.
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BroncoFan 2yrs+
I agree. My husband and I were thinking about renting for a while to see if we really liked a neighborhood before buying into it and the rents right now are just insane. We live in a large four bedroom and would barely be able to get into a two bedroom for the same price in just about any town we're looking at. So for now we're staying put just because it makes more sense financially.
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HeatherS
HeatherS makes sense!
2yrs+
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BroncoFan 2yrs+
I can only answer from a nationwide perspective as I don't know enough about Boulder for specifics, but it's a landlords market right now, so to speak. Whenever the economy hits a downturn and people begin to lose their jobs and homes, people renting can charge just about anything they want and know they'll get it (people have to live somewhere). We have friends who had to move from Aurora back to Minnesota and decided to use their home here for an investment property. They are charging several hundred dollars more than they pay for the mortgage and when they listed the home and high rental price on Craigslist, they were bombarded with offers and interested parties. Apparently when you foreclose on a home it takes several years before you can purchase another one, so renting is the only option. It's kind of weird because you'd think that if people couldn't afford their mortgage, they couldn't afford high rents either. It's not just Boulder, it's everywhere. I've been doing some research for a friend of ours who is moving out here soon and the rents are outrageous even in lesser desirable neighborhoods.

My brother in law also preferred renting as he travels a lot and hates the upkeep of a home. He ended up buying a home recently just because they raised his rent almost $300 a month (for a two bedroom) and now he's paying so much less for a nice home in a good neighborhood. So for the money he's saving, he can well afford for someone to come and cut the grass and tend the landscaping, etc. Things right now are kind of crazy, huh?
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HeatherS
HeatherS interesting writing, things are crazy. I have been trying to find a rental for $1200 in Boulder for my daughter and I and sincerely can not find something decent. I sincerely hope 2013 has better things in store for America and our pretty little clue planet.
2yrs+
HeatherS
HeatherS I meant blue planet:)
2yrs+
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The Closer you get to the mountains..... price goes up! Go east of the mountains, price goes down. General rull of thumb.
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