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.

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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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This adorable Craftsmen-style home at 7601 Loma Alta Trail in McKinney is one of the amazing rentals available through 2Clarks Real Estate.

We’re starting a new feature here on CandysDirt.com that takes a look at the leasing market. Got a hot news tip about renting in North Texas? Send it to jo@candysdirt.com!

There are just as many reasons why people are long-term renters as there are amazing rental properties in Dallas. But right now, with inventory tight and sellers only accepting top offers, who is choosing to sign a lease rather than sign a mortgage? Christine Clark of 2Clarks Real Estate dishes.

Jo: Who is renting right now? Are you seeing more of one demographic than another?

Christine: The market is full of the obvious renter with credit challenges who cannot qualify to buy a home.  We have seen a lot of younger professional couples this summer that clearly could qualify to buy a nicer place, probably even for less money monthly, and just don’t want to make the commitment to a location or lifestyle.  They really want flexibility.  The other group that we have seen are those families who go burned trying to unload previous homes and even though they qualify to buy, just don’t want to make that mistake again.

Jo: Who should be renting?

Christine: It makes sense to rent when you need to repair your credit and can’t qualify to buy right now.  It also makes sense to rent if you might not be in the same area for more than a couple years due to a job change or planned relocation.   Finally rent is you want to “try on” a community or life style, if you live in uptown but crave the space of the suburbs but not sure you can hang with the football moms, it is best to rent for a year and see if you like it.

Jo: What properties get snatched up the fastest? Are there any neighborhoods that are more desirable to renters?

Christine: Homes that have all the features that one be looking to buy go the quickest.  So a rental with hardwood floors, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and open concept go the quickest.  Homes that are newer than 2000 also get snatched up the quickest (i.e. no brass fixtures).  In Collin County most people want to rent in the same neighborhoods you would want to buy in such as The Trails and Lonestar in Frisco, Stonebridge and Craig Ranch in Mckinney, or a new hot area is Westridge which sits right between Independence and Custer, just north of Eldorado.

Jo: When it comes to location vs. amenities, which usually wins out?

Christine: Most of my rental clients are going for location first and the home/community second.  They want to be close to highways and jobs.  They don’t want to commit to an hour commute just for a rental home.  I am constantly surprised by people who will rent a less than appealing home in Plano just to be south of 121 when they could get new, better, cheaper just 10 minutes up the road in Frisco or Mckinney.  Communities with pools, parks and amenities are nice to have, but I have not seen them be the deciding factor.