Dallas Earns B in Annual Apartment List Renter Survey, While Plano Scores Top Marks

Renter Confidence Survey

Dallas renters gave their city a B grade in Apartment List’s annual renter survey, an improvement from Dallas’ C+ grade in last years’ survey. Dallas ranked 23 out of the top 50 cities for renter satisfaction, earning higher marks than Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Renters with children are particularly satisfied with Dallas, giving the city an A-, while Millennial renters gave the city lower marks (B-). In addition to Dallas, Apartment List published results for Plano (A+), Garland (A), Carrollton (A), Euless (A-), Denton (B+), Lewisville (B+), Arlington (B+), Irving (B) and Fort Worth (B).

The renter satisfaction grades are based on data from over 45,000 responses collected in the Apartment List renter survey between Oct. 1, 2016 and Dec 6, 2017. Overall, the top-rated cities for renters are Scottsdale, Arizona, Plano, Huntington Beach, California, and Cambridge, Massachusetts. In general, small and mid-sized cities received better ratings: 38 percent of them received an A- or higher, compared to only 24 percent of large cities.

In addition to scoring cities overall, renters graded their cities on 11 unique factors including safety, affordability and public transit. Dallas earned strong grades across the board, with no C, D or F grades. Dallas earned the highest marks for state and local taxes (A+), social life (A) and jobs and career opportunities (A-). Dallas renters did express moderate concern with safety and crime rate and the quality of local schools, which both earned B- grades.

While Dallas renters were satisfied with the city’s social life (A), renters were less satisfied with the social life in Euless (F), Carrollton (D), and Lewisville (D). Plano and Carrollton earned the highest scores for safety, both receiving an A+, compared to a B- in Dallas-proper. Renters were most satisfied with affordability in Garland and Denton, which both earned A+ scores. Interestingly, Carrolton is one of the pricier Dallas suburbs, with a median two-bedroom rent of $1,350. The renters choosing to live in Carrollton may earn higher-incomes and thus are still satisfied with the cost of living.

While Dallas earned higher grades than many large U.S. cities, other large Texas metros including Austin (A-), San Antonio (A-), and Houston (B+) earned higher grades than Dallas. While Austin outperformed Dallas overall, Austin earned poor marks for affordability (C), commute time (D), and public transit (D). Houston earned the lowest marks for weather of any Texas city surveyed, with a C grade in the category.

At the state level, Texas earned an A grade, ranking 8th out of the 50 states. Texas earned the highest score from renters with kids of all states, followed by Kansas, Minnesota, and Maryland. Texas earned an A+ for jobs and career opportunities and a B+ for affordability. Commute time (C+) and public transit (B-) were the areas of most concern to Texas renters.

Dallas renters are by in large satisfied with life in Dallas, giving the job opportunities and social scene top marks. The city does have areas for improvement, for example, safety and the quality of local schools.

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