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07/05/2012

Apartment demand up across the DFW area report says

Demand for apartments in Dallas-Fort Worth was strong in the second quarter because job growth was strong, the latest MPF Research report says.

 

Between April and June, renters leased 8,031 apartments, which was more than five times the number of units that were completed in the quarter, or 1,563 units, said Greg Willett, MPF Research vice president.

"Substantial job growth in North Texas is keeping apartment demand robust at the same time single-family home sales are rebounding from their recently low levels," Willett said. "These are the kind of housing demand numbers we were hoping for and expecting to see. While loss of renters to purchase is beginning to move upward, plenty of replacement renters are coming through the front door at most apartment properties."

Apartment occupancy in North Texas is now at 94.1 percent, up 1 percent from the first quarter, MPF Research said. A year ago, occupancy was 92.7 percent.

Willett said most of the vacancies are now in the oldest, least-desirable properties, some of which date to the 1970s and earlier.

As a result of the demand, rent has also risen. Rents on new leases rose 1 percent in the second quarter, and 4.3 percent from this time a year ago, MPF Research said.

Some areas, including Grapevine and north Fort Worth, rents have risen as much as 6 percent from a year ago. Rents are up as much as 8 percent in the popular Dallas urban core neighborhoods of Uptown and Oak Lawn, the report said.

Developers have 14,832 units under construction right now in North Texas, which will come on the market about 3,000 at a time for the next five quarters, which is well spaced out, Willett said.

"It makes it easier for the market to handle," he said. "In Dallas-Fort Worth we’re experiencing the job growth needed to support a sizable increase in apartment completions. That’s not true in all locations where building activity is picking up across the nation."

_ Sandra Baker

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