Rise of the renter

Dallas-Fort Worth added more apartments in last decade than any other U.S. metro, says report

DFW added more apartments in last decade than any other U.S. metro

5 Mockingbird apartments in Dallas
DFW will end this decade with 149,000 new apartments having been built in the last 10 years. Photo courtesy of 5 Mockingbird

You might call this the Decade of the Renter in Dallas-Fort Worth. New data shows DFW added more new apartments from 2010 through 2019 than any other U.S. metro area.

In a housing review of the 2010s published December 16, apartment website RentCafé estimates DFW will end this decade with 149,000 new apartments having been built during the 10-year span. That eclipses the No. 2 metro area, New York City, with an estimated 125,100 new apartments added during this decade.

In third place is Houston, with an estimated 114,100 new apartments constructed in this decade, followed by Washington, D.C. (113,300) and Los Angeles (98,000).

Two other Texas metros made the top 20:

  • Austin, claiming the No. 8 spot with 75,400 new apartments.
  • San Antonio, grabbing the No. 13 spot with 47,700 new apartments. 

All told, the four major metro areas in Texas have added 386,200 new apartments from 2010 through 2019, RentCafé data shows.

In May, RealPage Inc., a Richardson-based provider of property management software, reported the Dallas side of the Metroplex had accounted for 81 percent of the region’s new apartments built this decade. In RealPage’s tally, Dallas was the lone market in the U.S. to land three submarkets in the top 15 for apartment completions from 2010 through 2019 — Intown Dallas (14,097 new apartments), Frisco (12,299), and Allen/McKinney (10,335). From 2010 through 2019, Intown Dallas alone represented almost 10 percent of the region’s new apartments, RealPage says.

The furious pace of apartment construction in DFW has helped accommodate explosive population growth. From April 2010 to July 2018, the metro area’s population soared by more than 1.1 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“How much more can Dallas grow? Unlike some other major metro areas, it’s got nothing but land surrounding it: Dallas is the largest inland metropolitan area in the U.S. without any navigable link to the ocean,” real estate investment platform Roofstock says. “While many factors are contributing to Dallas’ population boom — including affordability, climate and accessibility — much of the credit goes to its thriving jobs market and diverse economy.”

In terms of population growth, Houston nipped on DFW’s heels from 2010 to 2018, adding almost 1.08 million residents, the Census Bureau says. During the same period, comparatively rapid growth occurred in the Austin metro area (nearly 452,000 new residents) and San Antonio metro area (more than 375,000 new residents).

As Texas’ major metro areas keep experiencing a population surge, the rise of the apartment renter promises to continue.

RealPage data published December 9 shows construction of 22,879 new apartments had been approved from October 2018 to October 2019 in the Houston area. That’s a year-over-year jump of 77.8 percent.

The numbers for DFW (19,562 permits, up 7.3 percent) and Austin (13,981, up 15 percent) were lower, but they still ranked among RealPage’s top 10 metro markets for the number of apartment construction permits issued.

Within U.S. metro areas, the cities of Houston, Austin, and San Antonio ranked among the top 10 places for apartment construction permits issued from October 2018 to October 2019, according to RealPage.