Tight High-Rise Inventory Means Less Choice: Are You Moving On Up?

If you’re looking for a Dallas high-rise home so you can get as far off the ground as possible, be prepared to shell out big bucks or live in close quarters. 

In parts one and two, I outlined how Dallas has relatively few high-rise listings, and because of a lack of new high-rise construction, Dallas isn’t going to have a lot more buildings anytime soon. In this final installment, I break the 133 active units and 11 units under contract and analyze them by what floors they’re on. 

The distribution under the 20th floor is fairly even between 21 and 29 units in each category. For those interested in units above the 20th floor, inventory drops off because a lot of high-rises are under that height overall. Once you’re into the 30s, you’re pretty much at Museum Tower, which might be out of your price range.

But even more than height, the most important buyer criteria revolves around the unit size and overall cost (mortgage, HOA dues, insurance, and taxes). A studio on the 20th floor doesn’t help someone looking for a two-bedroom unit.

Inventory Breakdown

When you compare these two charts, it’s easy to see that you’re likely looking at a handful of options that meet your needs. The most populous price band is from $301,000 to $500,000 and contains just 35 active units.

Within that range, there are just two three-bedroom units – one on the ground floor and the other on the second. There are 13 one-bedroom units with the remaining 20 being two-bedrooms.

Of those three-bedroom units, one is under contract at 3883 Turtle Creek and the other at The Renaissance. Very slim pickings. High-rises aren’t known for a ton of bedrooms nor are typical high-rise buyers housing a family. This likely makes three-bedroom buyers as scarce as units.

Demand for Units By Size

However, in the bread-and-butter of two-bedroom units, there 15 are between $305,000 and $409,500 located in two buildings – 1200 Main Street downtown and The Renaissance on Turtle Creek. And all are within roughly 200 square feet of each other in size. For those not interested in those two buildings, but still wanting a two-bedroom unit in this price band, you have just five choices. Of the remaining 13 one-bedroom units, there are just five choices outside Victory Park.

And this is the most populous price band. Imagine looking for a high-rise one tier up at $501,000 to $700,000 where there are only 17 total listings on the market – half the number. Or maybe one bracket down between $150,000 to $300,000 where there are just 11 units on the market?

Between price, total monthly nut and space requirements, finding the right high-rise unit that meets your needs can be a long waiting game.

Can You Wait to Move on Up?

Of course one of the reasons I’m attuned to this issue is my own recent transaction. I’d been looking at moving “upstairs” in the Athena for a couple of years. One came on the market at an unrealistic price in November and remains unsold today. Without the labyrinthine deal I struck to purchase a double unit in my preferred Turtle Creek location, spilt it and sell one of the units, there were very slim pickings on the market.

And as walkable, closer-in neighborhoods continue to build rental high-rises instead of condos, this situation may be poised to get worse long before it gets better. The only future high-rise condos I know of are boutique listings well over $1 million.  And it would take a notable market shift from rentals to condos before any of the new rental high-rises would contemplate converting.

Or course there are mid-rise buildings that offer more inventory, but these columns specifically speak to buyers, like me, who want a high-rise. And yes, there are also high-rises in North Dallas (Bonaventure, with 23 units for sale), The Cedars (5 units for sale), and Pink Wall (15 for sale) – still not a shower of inventory in raw numbers.

But again, for buyers wanting vibrant, walkable neighborhoods close to the action, the options are downtown, Turtle Creek, Uptown, and (less so) Victory Park – and unlike Doritos, no one seems to be making more.

Good luck, it’s rough out there.


Remember:  High-rises, HOAs and renovation are my beat. But I also appreciate modern and historical architecture balanced against the YIMBY movement. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, the National Association of Real Estate Editors recognized my writing with three Bronze (2016, 2017, 2018) and two Silver (2016, 2017) awards.  Have a story to tell or a marriage proposal to make?  Shoot me an email sharewithjon@candysdirt.com. Be sure to look for me on Facebook and Twitter. You won’t find me, but you’re welcome to look.

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