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That cheer you may have heard this week was from local apartment builders.
The latest market survey shows that in the second quarter, Dallas-Fort Worth renters gobbled up more than 10,000 apartments. And for the past 12 months, net apartment rentals have totaled almost 23,000 units.
The D-FW area topped the country for apartment rentals at midyear with near record leasing.
With almost 34,000 apartments under construction and more on the way, it’s a good thing local demand for rental units is so high.
A healthy rental market shouldn’t come as a surprise, since thousands of people are moving to North Texas for jobs, and most of the folks coming here rent.
The influx of young people searching for employment is fueling the boom in D-FW apartment leasing and construction. High home prices are helping, too.
Only about 5,600 houses listed for sale in North Texas are priced between $100,000 and $200,000 — the prime market for young and first-time buyers. And D-FW has one of the lowest big-city homeownership rates in the country. More than 40% of local residents rent rather than own.
"With limited stocks of for-sale product offered at the entry-level price point, renters who want to buy and are actually income-qualified to make that move struggle to find a house that’s right for them," said Greg Willett, chief economist for Richardson-based RealPage.
Some of those renters could find a house to buy, but living in one of D-FW’s new apartment communities isn’t exactly a hardship.
"We probably don’t give Dallas-Fort Worth apartment owners and operators enough credit for the appeal of the product they offer," Willett said. "Overall apartment quality in North Texas is very high by national standards, and property management expertise certainly exceeds the norm."
Renting an apartment is also a better deal. The mortgage, taxes and insurance payments on a $275,000 midpriced D-FW home add up to about $1,700 a month at current long-term mortgage rates.
At the end of the second quarter, the average North Texas apartment rent was $1,153, according to RealPage.