Rental occupancy and apartment demand are expected to increase in the Colorado Springs area in the next few years, according to a report from Hendricks & Partners.

The apartment sales and research firm notes that the Fort Carson is expected to host additional military personnel by 2013, adding more than 2,000 new civilian jobs to the area in the next two years. According to projections, these changes may drop the area's apartment vacancy rate to 4 percent, from the current level of 4.8 percent. This development is also due to other market characteristics, which have already caused vacancies to fall from 6.1 percent in 2010.

Another factor expected to draw activity and, by extension, renters to the area is data center construction by large businesses in Colorado Springs. The metro area's employment rate has reached 8.5 percent, down from 9.4 percent in 2010 as conditions began to improve in 2011, although this remains above the national average, which dropped from 8.6 to 8.3 percent, respectively, over the same period.

As employment improved, the population grew 1.4 percent in 2011 and multifamily construction has remained slow, leading Hendricks & Partners to estimate average rent growth will be 2.5 percent in 2012 and 4 percent in 2013. Growing demand may change that, and owners may benefit from improved efficiency brought by rental property management services.