Housing Report

Here's how COVID-19 has impacted the Dallas housing market

Here's how COVID-19 has impacted the Dallas housing market

Dallas apartment building
Dallas rents actually increased a bit in June. Photo courtesy of Abodo

Dallas apartment rent prices seem mostly unaffected by COVID-19 — at least thus far, according to apartment marketplace Abodo.

The site reports that in June, Dallas one-bedroom rent prices actually increased 1.28 percent month-over-month, to a median $1,184. At the same time, two-bedroom rates rose 0.83 percent, to $1,466.

These figures are in contrast to what the Austin rental market has experienced. There, the price of a one-bedroom unit dropped 0.31 percent in June, while two-bedrooms fell 0.7 percent.

In the current COVID-19 landscape, the Dallas market more closely resembles Houston, where median rents also rose. Houston one-bedroom units gained 0.51 percent to $1,179  in June, and two-bedroom rents surged 1.24 percent to a median $1,466.

While one month’s numbers don’t necessarily mean a rental price spike, instead of a COVID-19 rental price recession, we are currently seeing the opposite in both Dallas and Houston.

The trend is different for the local housing market. The MetroTex Association of Realtors reported that in May, Dallas County home sales dropped almost 35 percent year-over-year, while home prices dipped 4 percent. These are big figures, and there are reasons that the housing market is not mirroring the rental market.

Virtual limitations
During the pandemic, virtual shopping has proven successful for landlords and renters alike. Top apartment rental sites quickly moved to offer significantly developed virtual apartment tour capabilities. Property managers are seeing the benefits of scheduling showings digitally, and many have not missed a beat as they continue to rent units.

But when a buyer is considering a major purchase like a home, a short video peek at the space is, in many cases, not sufficient. 

Wary buyers and sellers
With COVID-19 cases rising in Texas, many potential buyers are staying put instead of venturing out to look at properties, which could put them at risk of infection. Conversely, many sellers simply do not want large groups of people in their homes. For some, it's easier to take their property off the market, or even rent out the home, and wait for better times.

Looking ahead
One bright spot for the housing market is that mortgage are at historic lows, which could reduce some of COVID-19’s negative housing market effect. If mortgage rates were anywhere near normal levels, we might see an even greater dip in housing prices. However, as the uncertainty of the pandemic continues, Abodo expects the Dallas market — for both rentals and sales — to face continued challenges.