With new home construction getting more expensive and bidding wars erupting over homes on the affordable end of the spectrum, many new transplants to the Dallas-Fort Worth area — approximately 143,000 of them from 2015 to 2016 —are turning to apartments to meet housing needs in the interim. And while we’ve done a less-than-stellar job of keeping the supply of homes for sale on par with demand, an apartment building boom has filled the gap — almost too well, in fact.
With almost 25,000 apartments set to hit the market in before the close of 2017, Dallas-Fort Worth (24,960 units) comes in a close second to New York City (26,739 units) in the march toward more rentals. According to RentCafe, apartment construction is at a 20-year high, with 345,000 units slated to hit the market by the end of the year — a 21 percent increase over last year’s deliveries.
Of course, the hope is that with all of these new apartments reaching completion, rents will soften and stabilize, leading to more affordable rentals.
“From an affordability standpoint, things are starting to look better for renters,” says Doug Ressler, Yardi Matrix senior analyst. “Rent growth is slowing down, even in the country’s most expensive markets and it doesn’t stop at that. With more units on the table, renters may be able to get some discounts and concessions on new leases, including one month of free rent, waived move-in fees, and free gym memberships.”
So that’s good news for renters who are forced into apartment living because of a dearth of affordable single-family home options. But what should our city make of these new buildings, which are often oppressively unattractive, hastily built, and will be dated in less than a decade?