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The local apartment market is in good standing, given the local economy’s strength and high housing prices, now averaging more than $250,000.

That’s the consensus of a second quarter report by Hendricks & Partners, a brokerage firm specializing in selling multi-family properties. The report shows apartment rents average $748 per month, making them “much more affordable and desirable to Denver’s general populace” in light of record home prices.

According to analysts, Denver falls second in the nation for its 48.6% increase in housing prices in metro areas. From March 1999 to this March, average home prices have jumped 13.8%.The report concludes new building restrictions and moratoriums continue to drive up home prices, making apartments even more attractive. “For instance Aurora (east of Denver) is requiring the use of brick on all homes, while Longmont (northeast of Boulder) has issued a temporary moratorium on reviewing new projects. Hence, home prices are being pushed upward and construction time lines are delayed,” according to the report.

In the first half of this year, three apartment buildings – built in the last five years – have sold for an average price of $95,150 per unit, while one apartment complex built between 1990 and 1994 went for $104,000 per unit. The past year also has resulted in an average monthly rental hike of 8.3%. The largest gain has been experienced by Boulder County, where the average rent is 10% higher – $897 per month – this year in comparison to 1999′s second quarter of $872.

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