As the winter season approaches, managers at many of Aspen’s rental housing properties say occupancy is up with units going faster than they have in years.
There is currently only one apartment available at the 148-unit Centennial development, said Kim Keilin, Centennial property manager.
Units are being rented pretty much as soon as they open up at a pace she hasn’t seen in years, Keilin said.
“We’re doing really well,” she said.
Centennial rental managers made two buildings in the development dog friendly last year and those units are in high demand, Keilin said. Still, she doesn’t think those apartments are the driving force behind the recent surge in rentals, because not many of the dog-friendly units have become available, she said.
Meanwhile, occupancy at the city-owned Marolt Ranch complex is outpacing the past three years, said property manager John Mickles. Currently, 31 out of 95 units are rented, Mickles said.
Last year Marolt created a ladder rental structure, which it brought back this year, that charges less per month if renters sign a lease early. Still, last year at this time only 23 percent of the units were rented out, Mickles said.
“Indicators are that things are going to go pretty well.”
This year most of the people who have signed leases at Marolt are Americans, which is a departure from the past, Mickles said. Typically, Marolt serves as temporary seasonal housing for foreigners who have visas to work in Aspen for the winter. Occupancy at Marolt has dropped since federal policy changed a few years ago restricting the number of visas given out.
The property can’t attract long-term renters because the units are promised to Aspen Music Festival and School students each summer.
At the Hunter Creek Condominiums, rentals are doing pretty well, said Lisa Thurston, Hunter Creek real estate broker. Three out of 22 total units rented through Thurston’s office are available and those are all two- or three-bedroom units, which tend to be more difficult to rent, she said.
“The problem is people want studios or one-bedroom [apartments],” Thurston said. “They don’t want roommates.”
Thurston hopes her remaining units will be rented out by Dec. 1, she said.
Despite the positive signs, Mickles and Keilin are both hesitant to make any predictions about the winter season, because things can change quickly in the rental market.
“We’re almost full,” Keilin said. “But that can all change at the end of the month. It’s always a moving target with rentals.”