DENVER-You couldn’t count on one hand how many apartment building permits were issued in the Denver metro area in May. That’s because developers did not pull even one permit, according to the latest permit activity by the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Denver.

“That’s great news,” Steve Rahe, an apartment broker with CB Richard Ellis tells In May of 2002, builders pulled 488 permits.

But, Rahe, notes, the year-to-date average is more important indicator than any single month. And, that, too is good news. Apartment building permits in the first five months fell 55.31% to 586 from 1,311 during the same period last year.

With few permits being pulled, demand has a chance to catch up with supply, Rahe says. He predicts that the market will start to recover in 2004, while most of the permits being pulled today represent apartment units that will open in 2005 and 2006. Renters likely will start seeing a gradual increase in rents in 2004, he says.

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