By Michael Abeyta

DENVER (CBS4)– Blake Kittridge has lived in Denver for 4 years. He moved into the Infinity LoHi building in the middle of the pandemic. He likes living there but recently, they told him they are raising his rent by more than $800 a month.

(credit: CBS)

“I know that this is more of like a price-gouging thing,” he says. “The entire reason they are raising my rent like they are is because they believe they can get that on the market so they can push me out.”

He rents a one-bedroom apartment for $1,650 per month. His landlords just told him rent for next year is going up to $2,490 per month.

“That’s more than half of my monthly income,” says Blake.

Ron Throupe, an associate professor of real estate at the University of Denver. He just completed a second-quarter study about the rental market in Denver. He says rent is up on average by $107 for the quarter.

“That’s the largest rent increase quarterly we’ve ever seen in this survey,” Throupe says.

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He says the reason is a lack of vacant rental units. According to the survey, there was a quarterly decrease in vacancy to 3.7% from 5.5%, with a year-over-year decrease of 1.4% from 5.1%.

Throupe says, “We’re out of units when it comes down to it.”

He says the solution is more building, “It’s a matter of how many new units can be built.’

He warns though that catching up with demand won’t happen for maybe a year or more because construction has slowed. That’s not good news for renters hoping for falling rent prices.

“In the short run, we should expect them to continue to go up,” says Throupe.

Blake moved to Colorado from Pittsburgh and says, he may have to reconsider living in Colorado and just move back.

(credit: CBS)

“If this keeps going this way I’m going to have to accept the fact that I’m not going to be able to live here forever.”

Michael Abeyta