Tag Archives: apartment market

Colorado Springs Apartment Sales in 2013

Here is a list of the 32 apartment properties sold in Colorado Springs in 2013. I’ve sorted them by dollars per square foot and have separated out the two outliers that were built in this century.

The remaining sales were mostly of the 60s and 70s vintage and made up most of the transactions in the city last year. Among the older stock, the average price per square foot was $64, with a range from $30K to $124K. The average price per unit was $46K, with a range from $23K to $80K.

If you click on the little arrow at the top right of the chart, it will open into a bigger version that should be easier to see and print. Data are from reliable sources but are not guaranteed.

Colorado Springs Apartment Rents Continue Upward Trend

The Colorado Springs apartment market continues to show strong growth through the third quarter of 2013. Not only has the vacancy rate stayed at its 12-year low of 5.4% (down from 6.1% a year ago), but the average rental rate set a record at $830.34 per month, breaking the previous record of $807.21 set during the previous quarter. That makes 15 quarters in a row that the Colorado Springs apartment rental rate has increased over the previous year.

English: Centennial Plaza Apartments, 516 E Ki...

Centennial Plaza Apartments, 516 E Kiowa St, Colorado Springs, CO (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is now $730.54, and two-bed, two-bath units are commanding an average of $1005.40. Three bedroom apartments are renting for an average of $1192.17.

In further promising news, although Denver has now returned to its pre-recession rental rates (adjusted for inflation), Colorado Springs still has a way to go. Therefore, there is still room for rental increases just to get  back to what folks were paying here in 2001-2002.

You can read the full report at the Colorado Division of Housing site.

Good News for Colorado Springs Apartment Investors

Stories from three different areas point out the continuing investor interest in Colorado Springs.

2012 was a very good year for apartment sales in Colorado Springs. In fact, the $198 million total was the largest volume of sales since 2007, at the start of the recession.

Apartments are a strong investor magnet nationally, and for several reasons. First of all, the returns operators are getting are high enough to attract institutional investors, such as insurance companies and pension funds, who might otherwise invest in stocks and bonds. They also like the relative stability of well-run assets compared to other commercial real estate categories. In addition, apartments remain one of the easiest commercial types to obtain both equity and debt financing.

Apartment Building

Apartment Building (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Colorado Springs is now getting on the radar of investors who have shopped in Denver, but found the competition there has driven prices way up recently. In fact, a great majority of apartment sales here have been brokered by Apartment Realty Advisors of Denver, which doesn’t even have an office in the Springs.

Prices paid for apartments here have been rising as well, boosted both by competition and rising rental rates. Most of the recent sales were of 1980s product, and they averaged over $120 per square foot.

Read the complete story here.

In more good news for Colorado Springs, WallSt24/7.com recently compiled a list of the best- and worst-run cities in the country. Of the 100 largest cities studied, Colorado Springs came in 14th, just ahead of Portland and Omaha. Factors that helped our city rank so well include its low crime rate and excellent credit rating. They also noted that our housing values stayed basically flat from 2007-2011, when those in the rest of the country was declining by an average of 10%.

Here’s the complete report.

It’s always flattering to be highly ranked in some national survey, but it may mean even more when someone is willing to bet real money on the future of the city.

For instance, billionaire Ray Kroenke, who owns the Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Avalanche and the St. Louis Rams, in addition to vast real estate holdings, recently purchased two Colorado Springs shopping centers for $31.5 million.

Uintah Gardens is a popular 215,00 square foot center on the west side, anchored by a King Soopers and includes a Walgreens, Petco and Big 5 Sporting Goods among others.

Academy Place is on north Academy at Union Boulevard. The Kroenke group bought all the retail shops between the Safeway and Target anchors.

Another Kroenke enterprise, THF Realty, is planning a 350,000 square foot retail mall on the south side that will be anchored by a Wal-Mart Supercenter and a Sam’s Club store.

Local commercial brokers believe it’s a real vote of confidence for the local economy that an investor of Kroenke’s clout (he’s on the Forbes Top 100 list) has turned his attention to Colorado Springs.

Here’s more on his local activities.

As you can tell from all this good news, many are feeling bullish on the Colorado Springs apartment market. However, with the deep pockets of institutional investors starting to buy up local properties, it’s getting harder for smaller investors to locate a deal that makes sense.

New Apartment Sales and Construction in Colorado Springs

The Colorado Springs apartment market is making a strong comeback, as shown by recent sales and new construction starts.

Major investors from out of the area have recently purchased large multifamily properties in Colorado Springs. In October, Sequoia Property Partners of New York closed on the South Circle Arms, a 112-unit apartment complex built in 1969. Many new upgrades were completed in the last five years, including new 30-year roofs on all the buildings. The $5.4 million purchase price produced a value of just over $48,000 a door.

Another October purchase was of the Rustic Hills Park Apartment, one of the last large distressed properties in Colorado Springs. The 243-unit property went for the bargain price of just over $17,000 per unit, or $4.2 million.

The new owners, Connexion Asset Group of Lakewood, CO, need to address a backlog of deferred maintenance and a low occupancy rate to stabilize the property. They have a successful track record of turning around failed assets, which is why they were selected from the 15 bidders on the offering.

This past summer Advenir, a Florida-based real estate company, bought the 220-unit Briarglen Apartments for $16.3 million, or $74,000 a door. They have announced plans to buy up to 2,000 units in the Denver and Colorado Springs markets. Chief Acquisitions Manager Todd Linden says, ““We think, long-term, Colorado is a great state to invest in. There’s going to be a lot of job growth there.”

At the end of September they purchased the Cheyenne Crossings Apartments for $19.5 million, coming in at over $85,000 per unit for the 220 units.

Seagate Properties of California now has a Denver office and hopes to build their Front Range portfolio to 2-3,000 units. They already own a couple of smaller apartments in downtown Colorado Springs, and in 2010 purchased the 115-unit Fillmore Ridge Apartments for $2.8 million, or just over $24,000 a door.

After years of little or no multifamily development, several new projects are under way, or awaiting final approval.

Grading is already underway at the corner of Woodmen Road and Union Boulevard, where Denver-based Southwestern Investment Advisors and Utah-based Talos Holdings have teamed up to build a 230-unit luxury apartment complex.

Up north in Monument, local group Vision Development has begun a 177-unit complex and at the south end of town, long-time local developers, the Nor’wood Development Group, has broken ground on the 240-unit Mesa Ridge Apartments. This project is close to Fort Carson, which should continue to add troops coming back from tours in Afghanistan, as well as the aviation brigade, expected to arrive with their helicopters and support staff in 2013.

On the east side of town, near Peterson Air Force Base, there is a large mixed-use project in the planning stages that would include 450 apartment units in addition to two military office buildings, restaurants and retail space. It will be near the intersection of two major arterials, Powers Boulevard and Airport Road.

All of this new construction activity has pushed the number of multifamily permits granted this year to 407, the most since 2002, when 1,664 permits were issued. That single year had more permits issued than all the subsequent years combined. In fact, in 2009, exactly zero multifamily permits were pulled.

With 44,000 apartment units now available, this year’s total will add less than 1% to the total. With its low vacancy rate and rising rents, it’s no wonder the Springs is looking so attractive to investors and developers.

DFW vs. Las Vegas for Apartment Investors

In response to an inquiry regarding the prospects of these two markets, I put together the following short clip. In it I pulled data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as well as subscription services comparing DFW and Las Vegas for job growth over the past decade, and projections of population growth through 2015.