F aster, higher, stronger. Colo- rado Springs, also known as Olympic City USA, is no stranger to the Olympic motto. Over the last couple of years, the city has seen that motto come to life, especially in the booming multifamily market. Like the rest of the country, Colo- rado was hit hard in 2019. How- ever, thanks to its low operating costs, growing and highly educated population base, and future-focused industries, Colorado Springs was one of the first cities in the state to bounce back with a job recovery rate of 69% and its economy grow- ing approximately 3 percentage points faster than the rest of the country last year. This year, we’re going to see faster growth, higher multifamily prop- erty values and a stronger economic foundation for our city and the asset class. n Faster growth . Colorado Springs and the sur- rounding area are growing … fast. Between 2010 and 2020, El Paso County, where Colo- rado Springs is located, experienced a 17.4% increase in population. During the same period, the city of Colorado Springs grew by approxi- mately 15%. For context, the total U.S. population grew at a rate of 7.4%. The reason for Colorado Springs’ population growth isn’t a mystery. A recent survey ranked Colorado Springs as the No. 2 most desir- able place to move, while Livability ranked it in the top 10 for safety, outdoor recreation, accessibility and affordability. Rounding out the acco- lades is U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of Colorado Springs as the No. 6 best city to live in the country. To accommodate the city’s rap- idly growing population, the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department permitted almost 4,000 apartment units in 2021 – a record year, with an increase of approximately 138% over 2020. The PPRBD also approved 550 commercial projects – a 34% increase in the number permitted in 2020. n Higher values. The influx of new residents to Colorado Springs has created unprecedented demand for apartment rentals, especially when combined with a wave of new amenity-laden supply and a lack of single-family home availability and affordability. This demand has pushed vacancy rates down and sent rents soaring at a clip of 17% year over year to reach an average of $1,500 a month. Unprecedented demand isn’t the only reason for the higher rents. Please see Market Update, Page 28 INSIDE Driven by weather, jobs and available land, the build-to-rent market is rapidly expanding Hot market trends Nongovernmental agencies quietly do a lot of the heavy lifting to get projects off the ground Affordable housing PAGES 33-36 The future of rental communities should focus on flexibility, convenience and connectivity Renter demands PAGE 16 May 2022 PAGE 12 Jeff Dimmen Senior adviser, Capstone Colorado Springs enjoys fast growth and high values To accommodate the rapidly growing population in Colorado Springs, the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department permitted almost 4,000 apartment units in 2021 – a record year, with an increase of approximately 138% over 2020.