By Jensen Werley – Reporter, Denver Business Journal

Two Denver suburbs are closely approaching being majority-renter communities, according to a new analysis.

There are 103 suburbs that were occupied by mostly homeowners that have flipped in the last 10 years to being mostly occupied by renters, according to an analysis by RentCafé. So far, there are no Colorado suburbs in that list of 103.

But there are 57 suburbs expected to switch to renter majority in the next five years. One of those is Wheat Ridge, northwest of Denver. Wheat Ridge saw its share of renters grow from 42% in 2010 to 47% in 2019.

Englewood, south of Denver, is also near the halfway mark for renters. Its share of renters grew from 46% in 2010 to 48% in 2019.

Federal Heights, to the north of Denver, had 47% renter share in 2019, although RentCafé did not identify it as one of the suburbs that will flip to renter majority in the next five years. Its renter share was 43% in 2010.

Several other communities, while not expected to switch to a renter majority, saw a significant increase in renter share. Broomfield, for example, saw its renter share grow 45% over nine years, jumping from 20% renter share in 2010 to 30% renter share in 2019. Highlands Ranch and Centennial saw their renter share grew 34% and 33%, respectively.

RentCafé, a nationwide apartment search website, conducted its analysis using U.S. Census data. RentCafé looked at the 50 largest U.S. metros by population and suburbs with at least 5,000 residents at the beginning of the decade.

RentCafé also recently released a report on apartment construction, which shows that nationally more than 330,000 new rental units are expected to be delivered for the fifth year in a row. That report cites data from its sister company, Yardi Matrix, a business development and asset management tool.

In 2021, the report estimates that about 334,000 apartment units will come online in the U.S. That figure is down slightly from 2020, when 343,000 new units were delivered. The Dallas metro is the biggest market for apartment construction, where 21,173 new apartments are expected.

Denver is No. 18 out of the Top 20 U.S. Metros for new apartment construction. The report estimates 5,581 units are expected to come online this year. Despite ranking in the top 20, Denver saw a significant drop in new apartment construction from 2020 to 2021, with the number down 46% from last year.

Still, new apartments are being planned in the area. Earlier in September, an 85-unit apartment building in Cherry Creek North was proposed. In Brighton, a suburb northeast of Denver, there is a 288-unit apartment community being planned. A block in Denver’s River North Art District sold for $27.5 million, and there are plans for a 500-unit apartment building that could be as tall as 12 stories.

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