DFW apartment rents steady as growth declines

Dallas-Fort Worth apartment inventory declined slightly in December while the average rent saw a moderate increase or remained steady, according to Axiometrics, a Dallas-based apartment market research and analysis firm.

“The strength of the Dallas-Fort Worth apartment market is reflected by its performance compared to the nation’s,” said Stephanie McCleskey, Axiometrics’ vice president of research, commenting in a news release.

The average rent in the Fort Worth-Arlington area totaled $968 in December, $2 more than the month before and $60 more than the December 2014 average. Fort Worth’s December effective rent growth of 6.6 percent was 46 basis points lower than November’s 7.1 percent, but 28 basis points higher than 6.3 percent in December 2014’s. A basis point is a unit equal to one hundredth of a percentage point.

Meanwhile, renters in the Dallas-Plano-Irving area paid an average of $1,071 in December, the same as in November and $57 more than in December 2014. The year-over-year increase translated to 5.6 percent annual effective rent growth, a 7-basis-point drop over November’s 5.7 percent, but 40 basis points higher than the 5.2 percent of one year earlier.

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“While rent growth in many markets declined from unsustainable peaks in the fourth quarter – affecting the national rate, which was 4.3 percent in December – DFW is the model of stability,” McCleskey said

That stability extends to occupancy, with Fort Worth recording 95.4 percent occupancy in December, the same rate as November and 68 basis points higher than the 94.7 percent of December 2014.

Dallas apartments were 95.2 percent occupied in December, a small, 10-basis-point decrease from November’s 95.3 percent, but a 48-basis-point increase from 94.7 percent in December 2014. Dallas occupancy has been 95 percent or higher – the point at which Axiometrics considers a market essentially full – for 10 consecutive months.