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.

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With high occupancy rates and increasing rents, it's a good time to be a landlord.

Looks like developers are working hard to keep up with demand as new apartment high- and mid-rises are going up across the region.

StreetLights Residential, a boutique development company, is building its first high-rise dubbed The Taylor, set to open in 2014. The uptown apartment building, which has rents in the $1,000-and-up range, is just one of the many rental properties planned, in construction, or opening soon.

And according to a study from Axiometrics, average rents are on the rise, too. For Dallas, occupancy is tight at a little more than 94 percent, and average rents are at $879, which is a 12.7 percent increase over 2009. To get a taste of the upscale rental market, check out the Oak Lawn area: rents have increased 19 percent since 2009, with average rents at more than $1,500.

So, are we becoming a nation of renters? And, is that a bad thing?

As Candy mentioned, restrictive lending practices and tight-fisted banks despite historically low interest rates. So, more mortgage restrictions means fewer homeowners means more renters, right?

This story from MarketWatch says increased rental occupancy and prices can really be traced to the slow recovery from the recession and high unemployment:

The unemployment rate remains stubbornly high at 8.2%, and incomes have stagnated. Fewer Americans can afford to buy a home or qualify for a mortgage, especially given tighter lending standards. As a result, home ownership declined again. It fell to 65.4% from 66% in the fourth quarter, putting it at the lowest level since 1996.

Well, what do you think? Is it a renter’s market? And is that a bad thing in our economy?