Department of Numbers

Boulder Colorado Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Boulder, CO (the Boulder metro area) was $1,483 in 2017 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in Boulder was $1,572 in 2017. The median rent more accurately depicts rental rates in the middle of the distribution of rents and is thus preferred in the analysis below. 2018 Boulder median and average rent data will be released in September of 2019.

Data is also available below for Boulder rental vacancy rates, Boulder rent as a percent of median income and the fraction of renters in Boulder.

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in Boulder Colorado (2017 dollars)2

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US Median Gross Rent $1,012 +1.61% +5.86%
Colorado Median Gross Rent $1,240 +4.29% +18.77%
Boulder, CO Median Gross Rent $1,483 +8.33% +20.28%

Boulder, CO Real Gross Rent Trends

At $1,483, real median gross rent in Boulder was at its highest level in 2017 since the series began in 2005. At $1,572, real average gross rent in Boulder was at its highest level in 2017 since the series began in 2005.

Real Gross Rent in Boulder: Boulder CO Median, Boulder CO Average, Colorado Median, US Median

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for Boulder

Date US
Median
Colorado
Median
Boulder, CO
Median
Boulder, CO
Average
2017 $1,012 $1,240 $1,483 $1,572
2016 $996 $1,189 $1,369 $1,369
2015 $987 $1,143 $1,324 $1,401
2014 $956 $1,044 $1,233 $1,291
2013 $924 $992 $1,193 $1,245
2012 $912 $964 $1,143 $1,216
2011 $912 $943 $1,104 $1,201
2010 $927 $935 $1,079 $1,206
2009 $931 $941 $1,123 $1,213
2008 $947 $974 $1,115 $1,197
2007 $899 $898 $1,027 $1,106
2006 $909 $929 $1,100 $1,194

Boulder Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate is the fraction of homes for rent that are not occupied.3 In 2017 the rental vacancy rate for Boulder Colorado was 3.40% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Boulder Colorado

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 6.18% +0.29% -0.14%
Colorado 5.18% +0.89% +0.33%
Boulder, CO 3.40% -1.14% +0.15%

Trends in Boulder, CO Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in Boulder peaked in 2006 at 7.56%. Since then it has fallen by 4.16% to 3.40%. Data records for this series originated in 2005. From a 2010 post peak low of 2.37%, the rental vacancy rate has increased by 1.03%.

Rental Vacancy Rate: Boulder CO, Colorado, US

Rental vacancy rate in Colorado

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Boulder

Date US Colorado Boulder, CO
2017 6.18% 5.18% 3.40%
2016 5.89% 4.29% 4.54%
2015 5.85% 4.47% 4.10%
2014 6.32% 4.85% 3.25%
2013 6.49% 5.26% 2.78%
2012 6.77% 5.69% 2.48%
2011 7.40% 5.63% 4.17%
2010 8.17% 6.72% 2.37%
2009 8.43% 8.00% 3.74%
2008 7.86% 7.45% 2.60%
2007 7.87% 8.63% 5.29%
2006 7.70% 8.36% 7.56%

Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for Boulder, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For Boulder, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 22.02% in 2017 according to the ACS.

Boulder Colorado Median Annual Rent as a Fraction of Median Household Income

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 20.13% -0.30% -0.76%
Colorado 21.53% +0.14% +1.56%
Boulder, CO 22.02% +0.34% +1.82%

Trends in Boulder, CO Rent as a Fraction of Income

Boulder renters paid 22.02% of median household income towards the median monthly gross rent in 2017. This is the highest fraction of median household income going to rent since the series originated in 2005.

Fraction of Income towards Rent: Boulder CO, Colorado, US

Percent of median household income going towards median monthly gross rent in Boulder Colorado

Historical Data for Annual Rent as a Fraction of Income in Boulder Colorado

Date US Colorado Boulder, CO
2017 20.13% 21.53% 22.02%
2016 20.43% 21.39% 21.68%
2015 20.63% 20.86% 21.45%
2014 20.89% 19.97% 20.20%
2013 20.78% 19.81% 19.57%
2012 20.65% 19.74% 19.85%
2011 20.70% 19.50% 18.43%
2010 20.50% 19.16% 19.32%
2009 20.12% 18.42% 19.22%
2008 19.00% 17.85% 17.53%
2007 18.66% 17.13% 17.09%
2006 18.90% 17.99% 17.96%

Renter Fraction in Boulder Colorado

You can calculate the renter fraction in Boulder in at least two ways: by housing units or by population. I've gone with the housing units measure here. This measure looks at the number of renting households in Boulder as a fraction of total Boulder households. In 2017 38.58% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Boulder Fraction of Renters by Household Units

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 36.13% -0.75% -0.77%
Colorado 34.80% -0.44% -1.34%
Boulder, CO 38.58% +3.28% -0.25%

Trends in the Boulder, CO Renter Fraction

The Boulder household renter fraction peaked in in 2015 at 39.98% and is now 1.40% below that level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

Fraction of Renting Households: Boulder CO, Colorado, US

Fraction of renters in Boulder

History of Boulder Renter Fraction

Date US Colorado Boulder, CO
2017 36.13% 34.80% 38.58%
2016 36.88% 35.24% 35.30%
2015 36.97% 36.25% 39.98%
2014 36.90% 36.14% 38.83%
2013 36.50% 35.49% 36.71%
2012 36.09% 35.97% 38.69%
2011 35.42% 35.62% 34.36%
2010 34.65% 34.06% 37.75%
2009 34.13% 32.99% 35.92%
2008 33.36% 32.51% 34.94%
2007 32.80% 31.17% 34.09%
2006 32.73% 31.27% 33.99%

1. Gross rent is defined as contract rent plus the estimated average monthly cost of utilities (electricity, gas, water, and sewer) and fuel (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.). Because some rentals include utilities and others don't, gross rent is a way of normalizing the variability.

2. Real dollars are calculated using the CPI-U less shelter series.

3. The rental vacancy rate is computed by dividing the number of vacant units for rent by the sum of the renter-occupied units, vacant units that are for rent, and vacant units that have been rented but not yet occupied.