In case you haven’t heard, people are flocking to Texas. The state, which boasts a burgeoning tech industry, warm weather and plenty of friendly faces has become the nation’s hotbed for renters in recent years. As a result, apartments for rent in Dallas — which has seen the second largest population boom in Texas — have become hot commodities. In a recent study of 11 major metros, Dallas’s rental market saw the most significant change in availability: a 5 percent drop in its vacancy rate over the last decade. The North Texas city even beat out San Francisco, the country’s most expensive city for renters, where vacancy has decreased by 4 percent since 2006. [bctt tweet=”Apartments for rent in Dallas are going fast and they’re staying gone.” username=”Roomiapp”] Here’s what else you need to know if you’re planning on navigating the shortage of apartments to rent in Dallas.
The State of Apartments For Rent in Dallas
A Sizable Expansion
According to an NYU Furman Center report that studied 11 U.S. metros between 2006 and 2014, the Dallas metro area increased its rental stock by 25 percent — an increase the study remarks is “sizable” compared to other metros. Real estate investor Yariv Bensira says the market in Dallas is ripe, from a developer’s point of view — but at a cost to renters.
“More and more rental developments are going up throughout Dallas. And it seems more and more amenities are needed in new buildings to compete in order to command higher-end rents,” he says.
And it isn’t just apartments for rent that are contributing to the boom in units in Dallas. According to the NYU Furman Center study, a significant number of the new rentals are single-family homes, as homeowners choose more to rent their houses, adding new streams of income.
The Influx of Millennials
Nationally, Millennials are leaning more towards renting today than owning — perhaps because it offers a sense of flexibility that the generation is so well-known to love. In Texas, the steep property tax rate is an added incentive to rent. As a result, the competition for vacant apartments for rent in Dallas is fierce. As more renters enter the Dallas market, developers continue to outdo one another for new business.
“There are young professionals and entrepreneurs flowing into Dallas from other urban centers and big cities, and they are used to luxury living in high-end buildings laden with amenities,” Bensira says. “They are looking to stay in town and are willing to pay to do so.”
And for those who do want to buy? The swelling property values mean scarier price tags, and ultimately it’s a matter of choosing the lesser evil. There’s no way, they say, to really have it all.
“I think people aren’t buying homes in Dallas because the cost of buying is also going up. I have friends who want to buy homes and condos, but it’s really expensive especially to be in a generally nice area,” says Betty Matthew, a Dallas-based speech language pathologist, who rents a townhome with two housemates in the city’s Deep Ellum neighborhood. “If you want to buy a home, you have to move further away, which people may be reluctant to do because of the longer commute to work and things to do in the city.”
The Decreasing Vacancy Rate
Even with a 25-percent increase in new apartments for rent in Dallas, the vacancy rate is still dropping. This is in part because the number of renters has increased by more than 35 percent since 2006, leaving a 10-percent deficiency in supply. As with any major metro experiencing the recent influx of renters, low-income renters are having more trouble finding affordable housing in the city center. They’re forced to either pay more to stay in the city or be pushed out into the suburbs and surrounding cities.
The Increasing Rent Prices and More Housemates
As multiple reports have shown, rent is rising nationally. Though rent affordability isn’t as much of an issue in Dallas as it is in other major metros, only 3 percent of vacant rentals in the North Texas city were considered affordable to low-income renters in 2014. And even for middle-income renters, a 3.8-percent spike in rent prices between 2013 and 2014 (more than double the increase in metro areas nationwide) is somewhat unsettling. It’s an indicator that the city, considered the most affordable of the 11 metros for median renter household, may be following suit of other more expensive metros.
“[bctt tweet=”The cost of living in Dallas, although fairly low in Texas compared to other cities, is rising. ” username=”Roomiapp”]
“The rent has definitely gone up every year both in the city and surrounding areas. Even living in towns further away like Denton, my rent was going up every year,” vouches Matthew.
Where does that leave newcomers seeking apartments for rent in Dallas? Hopefully not too overwhelmed; the choices are still available, and rent is still manageable for now — thanks, in large, to more housemates. The average household size increased by 8 percent in Dallas between 2006 and 2014, so it seems renters are wising up and rooming up to save some pennies.
And why shouldn’t they? Texas is awesome.
“I feel that Dallas overall is a phenomenal city and Texas a great state,” says Bensira. “There is no state income tax, which is another benefit to those moving to Dallas and choosing to work in Texas. The city is growing rapidly, there are great business opportunities, and lots of hard-working young professionals and entrepreneurs.”