December 30, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Statewide vacancies in subsidized, deed-restricted units rose to 6.7 percent during the third quarter, while vacancy rates in non-subsidized, market-rate units were slightly higher at 7.4 percent. According to a report released today by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs¿ Division of Housing, third quarter vacancies rose from the second quarter rate of 6.4 percent, and are up from a rate of 5.7 percent reported during the third quarter of last year.
According to the report, the areas with the lowest vacancies were Grand Junction and the Boulder/Broomfield areas which reported vacancy rates of 1.0 percent and 2.5 percent respectively. The areas with the highest vacancy rates were Colorado Springs and Jefferson County which reported vacancy rates of 8.9 percent and 11.0 percent respectively.
In addition to the survey of subsidized units, the Colorado Division of Housing also releases quarterly ¿market-rate¿ vacancy surveys that do not include subsidized and deed-restricted units. Third quarter market-rate data showed a statewide vacancy rate of 7.4 percent.
The greatest differences between market-rate vacancy rates and vacancies in subsidized units were found in Grand Junction and Pueblo. In Grand Junction, market-rate vacancies reached 7.5 percent, while subsidized units reported vacancies of 1 percent. In Pueblo, subsidized vacancies fell to 4 percent while market rate vacancies climbed to 12 percent.
¿We generally expect subsidized units to have lower vacancy rates than market units, and that seems to be the case in general, but vacancies are much lower if we look at units available to the lowest income levels,¿ said Gordon Von Stroh, professor of business at the University of Denver, and the report¿s author. ¿If we look more deeply into the numbers, we find that units available to a single-parent family making 50 percent of the area median income are really quite rare.¿
The report measures units that have been rent-restricted due to government subsidies. Units may be owned by private firms, non-profit agencies, housing authorities, and local governments.
The Colorado Division of Housing monitors vacancies in subsidized and rent-restricted units on a quarterly basis. The subsidized unit report is available here: http://dola.colorado.gov/app_uploads/docs/2009-3%20Affordable%20Statewide%20%20Results%20-%202009-3%20-%20Public-All.pdf
The market rate report is available here: http://dola.colorado.gov/cdh/vacancy/index.htm
Ryan McMaken, Colorado Division of Housing