Christmas is right around the corner, and you can certainly tell here in North Texas. The trees are decorated, holiday music is playing on the radio, and eggnog lattes are back at your favorite coffee shop. With Santa’s visit just a few short weeks away, we are highlighting our favorite Dallas-area apartments with fireplaces and chimneys for Santa to use. Don’t worry — all these chimneys are big enough for Santa to fit without feeling claustrophobic. Some even have rooftop pools and balconies for Santa’s reindeer to play in while they are waiting for the jolly old elf to finish delivering presents.

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The Interurban building is a classic industrial loft building in downtown Dallas.

Some of the hottest apartments currently on the market are lofts, with plenty of luxury lofts for rent in Dallas. Loft apartments are often converted from former industrial buildings, but now many brand new “loft-style” apartments are being built in the Dallas, usually located near downtown. Loft-style buildings are open-concept spaces with high ceilings and large windows, and often include more industrial decor such as exposed brickwork. This week we’re highlighting our favorite residential loft rentals in Dallas.

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Rents have been on the rise in Dallas, with the median one-bedroom apartment in Dallas proper renting for $890 a month. Throughout the Dallas area, some suburbs still offer lower prices compared to Dallas, while others are considerably more expensive.

To give renters an idea of how far their rent check will go, we’re highlighting properties at the Dallas median price in Dallas proper, as well as in 10 surrounding cities. From one-bedrooms in Frisco and Carrollton to two-bedrooms in Fort Worth and Garland, there are plenty of great rentals in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro for around $890 a month.

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DFW rent prices

If it feels like you’re paying a lot for rent, you’re probably right: huge demand for DFW apartments in 2016, coupled with a shortage of supply, has pushed rents and building occupancy to record levels.

DFW rent prices are now averaging almost $1,100 a month, according to MPF Research. Add to that a vacancy rate of under 4 percent, and you’ve got demand at an all-time high. The past year’s demand total for apartments in North Texas jumped to 27,120 units, up sharply from the 2015 volume of about 17,000 units.

Fort Worth ranked sixth in the nation for rent increases in 2016, going up 6.7 percent over the previous year. Dallas was close behind, at number 11, with a 6 percent increase over 2015.

“With out apartment clients, we’re getting a lot of people relocating who are unsure if they want to buy or not,” said David Maez, co-founder of Vivo Realty Group. “I think we going to see competitive rent prices continue, even with the inventory that’s coming up.”

There are now almost 50,000 apartments under construction in North Texas, which is about 9 percent of nation’s building activity. That’s the country’s biggest block of product on the way by a large percentage, according to RealPage. About 29,000 of those apartments scheduled for completion in 2017.

“Dallas-Fort Worth is the country’s top spot for apartment demand by a huge margin, which speaks to the strength of the local job market and household formation pace,” said RealPage chief economist Greg Willett. “There’s a great mix of expansion in both the urban core and the suburbs.”

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Renting is often considered to be more affordable than homeownership, but the gap between affordable rentals and affordable homes for sale is widening. According to SmartAsset’s 2016 rental affordability survey, there’s a massive income gap for renters. This year’s survey shows that, in Dallas, renters need to make $62,700 to meet HUD guidelines for affordable rentals. That’s an increase of $5,829 from a year ago, and equates to about $1,463 a month on rent alone.

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It seems like there’s a new press release with new data in our inbox every day telling us that more and more people are moving to Dallas now than ever before. And just as often we are reading news stories about slow apartment leasing and price reductions in some areas of the market.

If you’ve been overwhelmed with the seemingly ubiquitous data-driven news showing both how fast we’re growing and how troublesome the rental market is looking, here’s a little breakdown of the most recent news regarding Dallas growth and Dallas real estate. The takeaway: Expect to see more of these guys.

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