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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Fort Worth renters facing shrinking challenges

While the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex may be sprawling outwards, renters have been increasingly confined into smaller spaces.

That is according to a Zillow Group-owned HotPads report released April 10.

Compared to five years ago, a current Fort Worth rental space at the same monthly rent payments has, on average, shrunk by 335 square foot, the report found.

Meaning, a renter paying the current Fort Worth rate would have been able to afford almost three extra 10-by-12-foot bedrooms.

“Cities across the country have seen incredible rent growth in the past five years,” said HotPads Economist Joshua Clark. “While new construction has gotten smaller, leading renters to look for units with less and less space to stay within their budgets.”

Data from Zillow suggests the average rent in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is $1,685, which is $155 more than the national average.

In the present metroplex market, an average renter can get 1,460 square foot of rental space for $1,685.

The report took rent affordability under consideration, as well.

Nationally, the share of income spent on rent fell from 29.2% in early 2014 to 27.7% in late 2018. But according to the report, although incomes grew fast enough that allowed typical renters to better afford their rent payment, the space available to them at that price decreased at a similar rate.

“With space at such a premium, it’s no wonder that minimalism and decluttering practices made popular by Marie Kondo have grown such a large following among today’s renters,” Clark said.

The report looked at the country’s largest 50 rental markets. The shrinking effect was detected in all markets.

The heaviest hit were cities in Northern California, namely: Sacramento, San Francisco and San Jose. The renters there had to downsize by at least 475 square feet in the last five years.

Within the state, Dallas-Fort Worth beat all the other major Texan cities for the most shrinkage.

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Neetish Basnet
Neetish is a writer and digital content producer for Fort Worth Business Press. He has been covering businesses of all shapes and sizes in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex for several years. After graduating with a journalism degree from University of Texas-Arlington, Dow Jones News Fund selected him for a digital media fellowship. He still likes the smell of a freshly printed newspaper.

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