Boulder Rent Review: 2018 in Review and What’s Happening in 2019 from

In mid-2018 one could find a one-bedroom apartment in Boulder for an average price of $1550. When we reported that figure, we mentioned that the days of finding a $1000 per month apartment in a large city were gone. We also advised that a return to the peak 2015-2016 Boulder apartment rental market was not going to happen either, and at the end of 2018, we find ourselves between both extremes.

2018: The average one-bedroom Boulder 2018 rent stood at $1723 and reflected a monthly average decrease of .43 percent. Two-bedroom apartments averaged $1902 and were virtually flat during the entire year.

2019: ABODO reports that Boulder one-bedroom units moved sharply higher in January 2019 to a median rent of $1999, a strong 5.19 percent increase, and median two-bedrooms rose to $2034, a gain of 1.61 percent.

Boulder is popular, and recently TripAdvisor ranked the city as number five in the top ten U.S. places to visit while Forbes listed Boulder as a great entrepreneurial city.

National Economic Trends

Some feel that a recession is in the offing, some claim that such a recession will be a self-fulfilling prophecy, while others predict that 2019 will be a year of growth—but at a slower pace.

The stock market finally succumbed to late-year uncertainty and responded with its worst December since the 1930s. Some pundits interpreted this as the beginning of a recession while others felt that the decline was a healthy correction. Regardless of the cause of the market fall, it may encourage the Fed to hold off on its planned interest rate increases, and that could help to steady the market and in turn keep the economy moving forward. A stronger economy will help Boulder and add to the upward pressure on apartment rental prices.

If we do see higher interest rates as some still predict, the national average 30-year mortgage rate will climb over the magic five percent level. That can not only discourage potential homebuyers but at the same time put upward pressure on rents. Higher rates can also discourage multi-family development, and that can fuel higher rents as demand infringes upon supply.


Boulder did not appear on our top ten highest or 10 ten lowest rents of 2018. In fact, no Colorado cities made either of those lists. And FYI, San Francisco is still number one with a 2018 average rent of a whopping $3535. If you want to leave very cheaply, go to Springfield, MO where you can rent a one-bedroom apartment for only $503!

Boulder is significantly more expensive than the average Colorado city as the 2018 average Colorado one-bedroom apartment rented for $1070.31.

And nationally, one-bedroom rents fell by an average of 2.01 percent for 2018, while two-bedroom units rose a statistically insignificant .08 percent.

We look for a steady but slow rise for Boulder rents in 2019, unless of course we see a sharp economic decline. Either way, we just don’t think that Boulder apartment prices are going to crash any time soon.