Renting in Dallas Got More Expensive in 2017

Dallas rents grew 2.2 percent in 2017, bringing the median two-bedroom rent to $1,100. It’s not just in Dallas proper where rents are on the rise – rents increased in 2017 in all the major Dallas metro cities including Fort Worth (4.3 percent), Arlington (6.6 percent), Plano (2.9 percent), Garland (2.7 percent), and Irving (3.8 percent). There is some relief for Dallas renters — rents in Dallas proper have declined 0.3 percent over the past month, and are down 1.2 percent since their 2017 peak in August.

The Dallas rent declines are part a seasonal trend, with rents falling in 62 of the top 100 U.S. cities during the month of December. Dallas’ rent decreases have been more pronounced than the nationwide trend, due in large part to increases in multifamily stock. The Dallas metro added more new rental stock than any U.S. metro, with 22,851 deliveries in 2017, up from 15,459 in 2016. The new rental stock decreased occupancy rates by 1.8 percent and softened rent growth, helping keep Dallas rent growth below the national and state averages of 2.5 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.

Dallas remains more affordable than many surrounding cities, but apartments in hot neighborhoods including Uptown and Highland Park are often well above the Dallas median. Plano is the most expensive of the 10 largest cities that we have data for in the Dallas metro, with a two-bedroom median of $1,410. Of all the cities we have data for, Flower Mound remains the most expensive, with a two-bedroom median of $2,180.

Dallas rents remain slightly below the national average of $1,160 but are more expensive than most other large cities in Texas including San Antonio ($1,040), Houston ($1,030), and El Paso ($830). Dallas rent prices have been growing faster than Austin rents, but Dallas remains more affordable than Austin, where two-bedroom units rent for $1,380. In Austin, rents have declined 2.1 percent since August, and are up 0.1 percent from the end of 2016, compared to 2.2 percent rent growth in Dallas.

Dallas rents grew slower in 2017 than the two previous years. Rents increased 3.7 percent in 2016 and 4 percent in 2015, compared to 2.2 percent in 2017. Despite slower rent growth this past year, Dallas rents have increased 15 percent since the start of 2014, putting financial pressure on many Dallas renters. 2018 is expected to be another strong year for multifamily deliveries in the Dallas market, but population and job growth will keep demand for rentals high. The new rental stock will help soften rent growth, but rent increases are expected during the peak spring and summer months.

Sydney Bennet is a senior research associate who writes about apartments and more for ApartmentList. Contact her at sbennet@apartmentlist.com.