Average rents in Colorado hit a new high of $1,026 in the first quarter of 2014, up 8 percent from $950 in the first quarter of 2013, and 3.4 percent from $992 in the fourth quarter, the Colorado Division of Housing said Wednesday.

The increase was particularly evident in northern Colorado and metro Denver, where Division of Housing economist Ryan McMaken said job growth and demand for apartments continues to outpace construction.

In the Fort Collins-Loveland market, vacancy rates hit a 13-year low of 1.7 percent in the first quarter, compared with 5.2 percent statewide.

The vacancy rate in Denver, measured in May, was 5.1 percent.

In the first quarter, vacancy rates were 6.7 percent in Colorado Springs; 5.3 percent in Grand Junction; 4.4 percent in Greeley; and 8.1 percent in Pueblo.

"We have seen vacancies pushed up by a little in some markets with a significant amount of new multifamily construction, such as Colorado Springs and metro Denver," McMaken said in a statement. "But it has not been enough to push the average rent back down."

In May, the average rent in Denver was $1,073, compared with $1,048 in the third quarter of 2013.

In the first quarter, rents averaged $822 in Colorado Springs; $1,216 in Fort Collins; $1,026 in Loveland; $525 in Grand Junction, $793 in Greeley; and $595 in Pueblo.