Photo courtesy of Simpson Property Group

We all know what renters dream about when they’re not thinking about the logistics of owning a home: low rent prices with the perfect amount of space. In cities across Dallas-Fort Worth, that’s getting harder and harder to come by.

In fact, for renters who have a budget of $1,500 a month, the average apartment size they can get in Dallas spans about 805 square feet. That’s according to a new study by apartment rental marketplace RentCafe.

If you head to a suburb like Mesquite, Garland, or Arlington, residents can get the most bang for their buck with an average apartment size well into the 900-square-foot range.

Mesquite residents, by far, get the most space, at 999 square feet, whereas renters in the latter two cities get an average of 937 and 928 square feet for the same budget.

Renters might consider looking to Fort Worth as well, where they can get an apartment that’s an average of 909 square feet (almost 100 more than Dallas) with $1,500 a month.

The worst offenders that have the smallest space for the price are Plano and Frisco. Plano renters have to make do with an average apartment size of 766 square feet, while Frisco renters get even less space, at 740 square feet. That’s more than 200 square feet less than an apartment in Mesquite.

RentCafe’s study looked at data from their sister site, Yardi Matrix, to determine the average size and price per square foot for a $1,500 monthly budget in 200 of the largest American cities.

Here’s how much space you can rent for $1,500 in other Dallas-Fort Worth-area cities:

  • Grand Prairie – 873 square feet
  • Denton – 868 square feet
  • Irving – 848 square feet
  • McKinney – 809 square feet

Elsewhere in Texas, apartments in the Rio Grande Valley have the best price per square foot in the state. McAllen residents get the most space out of any other Texas city with an average apartment size of 1,471 square feet. Renters in Brownsville, which is 60 miles east on the border, can get a similarly sized apartment that’s 1,307 square feet for the same $1,500 a month budget.

Much like Mesquite, Houston residents can find apartments that are just under 1,000 square feet for the same budget. But that doesn’t go nearly as far in Austin, where renters can find apartments that are an average of 714 square feet.

The full report can be found on rentcafe.com.

Photo courtesy of Simpson Property Group

Rent in this Dallas-Fort Worth city increased nearly 15 percent from 2022


Apartment rent keeps going up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and none more so than in Irving, where renters pay nearly 15 percent more than they did last year, making it increasingly difficult to afford living in the city. That’s according to a new national rent report from online rental marketplace Zumper.

Irving topped the list of rent increases among DFW cities.

Despite rent increases showing a small slowdown month-over-month, overall prices are still on the high side from the previous year. For example, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Irving is $1,930 now, in March of 2023, which is a half percent increase from the previous month, but a staggering 14.9 percent increase from 2022. The average rent for a one-bedroom is $1,520, which is a mere 2 percent increase month-over-month, but also a whopping 14.3 percent increase from last year.

The report looked at rental data from more than 1 million active listings in the top 100 cities in the United States to determine the rankings. Zumper ranked Irving the No. 34 most expensive rental market across the nation in February of 2023, up two places from the last report.

The report attributes these recent rental increase trends to the nation's rising inflation rate and unpredictable economy. Though unemployment is low (less than 3.4 percent), potential homebuyers are being sidelined with increasing interest rates. This is causing more competition among renters all over the country.

“Many markets continue to either normalize or correct following the steep increases in rent seen in 2021 [and 2022] in the zero interest rate [and] QE environment we went through,” said Zumper CEO Anthemos Georgiades in the report. “With interest rates expected to rise further in 2023, we anticipate continued deceleration in rent rises as new household formation freezes or is at least postponed.”

Just two places down the list from Irving is Dallas, coming in as the No. 36 most expensive rental market, which is a three-place increase from a previous report. Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment stayed relatively flat over the last month, at $1,500, yet is still 4.2 percent higher than it was last year. Two-bedroom apartments saw a smaller year-over-year increase at 4.6 percent, with the average rent price at $2,030.

Plano comes in at No. 40, Fort Worth at No. 55, and Arlington at No. 67.

Several cities in the DFW metro area also made the list, as well as Austin (No. 25), San Antonio (No. 66) and El Paso (No. 95). Most notably, Houston (No. 51) is experiencing a nearly 11 percent year-over-year rent increase for both one- and two-bedroom apartments.

The nine total Texas cities that made the list include:

  • No. 25 – Austin
  • No. 34 – Irving
  • No. 36 – Dallas
  • No. 40 – Plano
  • No. 51 – Houston
  • No. 55 – Fort Worth
  • No. 66 – San Antonio
  • No. 67 – Arlington
  • No. 95 – El Paso

The full data from Zumper’s National Rent Report can be found at zumper.com.

Dallas apartment renters squeezed into 3rd tightest market in Texas, says report

Housing crunch

Many looking to rent an apartment in Dallas might be having a hard time — and RentCafe offers the reason why in its year-end report on Texas' most-competitive rental markets.

Dallas was the state's third most competitive market in 2022, behind El Paso and McAllen.

In Dallas, there are 14 renters for every available unit, and those who spy a vacant apartment better grab it fast. RentCafe says the units in Big D stay vacant for only about 30 days.

More than 95 percent of apartments for rent in Dallas were occupied last year, which was partly due to the fact that nearly 63 percent of renters decided to renew their leases, the report says.

"Dallas — or its suburbs, to be more specific — continued to be the top destination for out-of-state renters coming from coastal areas, especially California," RentCafe says. "In fact, Irving was named the number one magnet for relocating renters in the U.S. in a report by StorageCafe."

That's also the story in neighboring Fort Worth, which sees 13 prospective renters for every available unit.

"Interestingly, El Paso, Dallas and Fort Worth saw the most interest from renters in all of Texas this year, with an average of 13 to 15 candidates competing for the same vacant apartment," RentCafe says.

That's great news for rental property owners, even as it's likely causing stress for those looking to find new digs and aren't interested in home ownership.

Elsewhere in Texas, in Austin, 12 prospective renters are vying for every available unit, and those units stay vacant, on average, for only a month before someone else signs a lease.

In Houston, renters are mainly staying put, renewing their leases into 2023. According to RentCafe, for every available apartment in Houston, there are, on average, 11 renters vying to live there.

In the state's hottest market, El Paso, there are 15 renters looking for every available unit. And available apartments there stay vacant for only 28 days.

So, why can't Texans find apartments in Texas? Blame supply and demand. There are more people looking to rent than are places to rent.

"Markets in Texas continued to attract out-of-state renters looking for better job opportunities and a more affordable lifestyle," read a summary of RentCafe's report.

The bright side to all of this? We're not Miami. The Florida city topped Rent Cafe's list of most-competitive markets, where 32 prospective renters are competing for every available unit.

Facebook/Megan Kay Photography

Bachelor-billionaire wedding tops this week's 5 most popular Dallas stories

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that list here.

1. Bachelor favorite marries billionaire's son in lavish Dallas wedding. A Bachelor runner-up in 2020 won her happily ever after two years later in Dallas: Madison Prewett married Dallas native Grant Troutt in a glamorous, reality TV star-studded celebration at his folks' house on Saturday, October 29.

2. Dallas-based art store chain is calling it quits after 71 years. After 71 years, a revered Dallas-based art store chain is calling it quits. Asel Art Supply, first founded in downtown Dallas in 1951, is closing all its stores as of December 31. That includes locations in Richardson, Arlington, Fort Worth, two in San Antonio, and one in Lubbock.

3. Chef driven restaurant off Oak Lawn Dallas closes despite a year of acclaim. After just a year, an acclaimed restaurant in Dallas' Oak Lawn neighborhood is closing: Modest Rogers, the ambitious mom-and-pop from chef Modesto Rodriguez has decided to close.

4. World's top women tennis players start final showdown of 2022 in North Texas. It's not as famous as Wimbledon or the US Open, but the WTA Finals will crown a new queen of the women's pro tennis tour in North Texas - and all are invited to court. For the first time, Fort Worth hosts the prestigious year-end finale for the WTA, featuring the top eight singles players and doubles teams in the world, through Monday, November 7.

5. Apartment rents finally start to decline in Dallas and across the U.S. In good news for renters, rates finally appear to be dropping in Dallas and across the U.S. — and it's a trend predicted to prevail through the end of 2022. After more than a year of record-setting rent hikes, rent prices decreased in October for the second month in a row, according to a report by Apartment List.

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Apartment rents surge at double-digit rates across Dallas-Fort Worth, new report says

Rent check

As summer vacations end and college semesters start, August is always a busy month for renters moving into apartments. This month, those unlocking doors to new digs across Dallas-Fort Worth are being greeted by some especially unwelcome sticker shock.

According to Zumper's new Dallas metro rent report, the price of one-bedroom units across DFW has surged at a double-digit pace in most cities, year over year. The August 1 report covers 14 cities in Dallas-Fort Worth and highlights the most and least expensive cities, as well as cities with the fastest growing rents.

"The Dallas metro area is seeing large spikes in rent prices overall with nearly all cities in the report experiencing double-digit year-over-year growth rates," says Zumper analyst Crystal Chen. "Migration to this metro area — with the modest tax rates, relatively low cost of living, and vibrant culture — shows no sign of slowing down, especially since we’re in the summer, which is generally the hot moving season."

According to Zumper, rent climbed fastest from August 2021 to August 2022 in these cities:

  • Grand Prairie, up 26.4 percent since this time last year, to $1,390.
  • Irving saw rent climb 25.4 percent, to $1,480.
  • Denton, up 23.9 percent, to $1,140.
  • Frisco, up 21.9 percent, to $1,670.
  • Carrollton and Lewisville (tied), both up 20.2 percent ( to $1,370 and $1,430, respectively).
  • McKinney saw rent climb 18.5 percent, to $1,470.
  • Plano, with rent increasing 17.6 percent, to $1,540.

Month-over-month, the fastest-growing rent rates were as follows:

  • Frisco had the largest monthly rental growth rate, up 5 percent.
  • Denton was second with rent jumping 4.6 percent.
  • Lewisville was third with rent increasing 3.6 percent last month.

Most and least affordable cities
While the one-bedroom median rent was $1,139 in Texas last month, only one DFW city was below that: Arlington, at $1,080. Two cities came close: Denton and Garland, both at $1,140. Weatherford ranked as the third most affordable city, with rent at $1,160.

Fort Worth also falls on the lower end of the scale, with one-bedroom rent at $1,230. Remarkably, rent is down 3.1 percent from last month, but still up 12.6 percent overall, year-over-year.

The prices go up from there — especially in the northern Dallas suburbs.

The most expensive DFW city for renters is Frisco, with one bedrooms priced at $1,670. Richardson came in second, with rent at $1,610. Plano ranked third, with rent at $1,540.

So, where do apartments inside the Dallas city limits fall? According to Zumper, Dallas proper ranked as the sixth most expensive rental market (out of 14). The price of one bedroom units increased 0.7 percent in the last month to $1,460. Overall, rent is up 11.5 percent from last year.

"In addition to Dallas, rising rents can also be seen in most major hubs within the U.S. right now, too," Chen says. "With interest rates up, many people are opting out of the buying process and staying in the rental market longer, creating even more demand and competition for rentals. The U.S. is also still in a housing crisis and construction of new buildings isn’t happening quickly enough to meet demand. All of these factors together are creating the surge in rent prices."

Gillespie's Tavern

Buzzy Richardson mixed-use center with pub and more gets new owner

House For Sale

A mixed-use center in Richardson has been snapped up by a new owner: The Shire at CityLine, an 83,256-square-foot suburban mixed-use retail and office property at the southeast corner of George Bush Turnpike and Jupiter Road, was sold to Venture Investment Partners, a Dallas-based group that owns dozens of properties around DFW.

JLL marketed the property on behalf of the seller, Standridge Companies, a commercial real estate company in Addison.

Originally founded in 2005 by restaurateur Dale Wamstad, The Shire at CityLine features an eclectic mix of tenants including medical services such as a dental office, dermatology, and a pediatric office.

It also has a number of restaurants including Anaya's Seafood, Apollonia's Italian, and Silver Fox Steakhouse.

More recent openings include Gillespie's Tavern, an Irish pub with some familiar names behind the bar that opened in May; and 42 BBQ Smokehouse & Market, serving a classic Texas-style barbecue menu developed by chef Joshua Boneé.

It's adjacent to the $1.5-billion CityLine development, home to 11,200 employees, and 2,221 multi-housing units.

And if that's not enough, the center has 414 dedicated parking spaces. Dallas loves parking spaces.

The area has experienced a 14 percent increase in population since 2010 and is in Dallas-Fort Worth's growth path.

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Dallas-Fort Worth arrives at surprising spot among top summer travel destinations


Dallas-Fort Worth recently racked up more than a dozen accolades at the 2023 Texas Travel Awards. But a new survey reveals it's not necessarily such a hot travel destination this summer.

DFW comes in at a middle-of-the-road No. 45 in WalletHub's recent 2023 Best Summer Travel Destinations report.

The report compared 100 of the largest metro areas in America across 41 metrics, including number of attractions.

DFW scored an overall rating of 52.56 out of 100. Broken down by category, the Metroplex ranked 86th in "Travel Costs & Hassles;" 32nd in "Local Costs;" 20th in "Attractions;" 41st in "Weather;" 27th in "Activities;" and 50th in "Safety."

Taking the top spot in Texas was San Antonio, at No. 11, with Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown at No. 14. Behind Austin and San Antonio in the 2023 rankings is El Paso (No. 18), then Houston (No. 38). After 45th ranked DFW came Corpus Christi (No. 62), and McAllen (No. 86).

Dr. Susan Weidmann, assistant professor in the department of recreational management and physical education at Appalachian State University, said in the report that summer 2023 is going to be a “good season for travel” despite recent economic downturns that have many worried about a recession.

“Coming out of Covid, I think many people have taken these last few years to really evaluate what they want out of life, and for those that love travel, I think they have probably put it at the top of their list of things to do,” she said. “As far as economics are concerned, many may have saved their traveling money from the last multiple years, so will have money to spend. That being said, after the airline chaos of last year, many people may be thinking about domestic travel over the long-haul, just to alleviate many of the concerns that airlines, especially in Europe, are still grappling with, such as reduced staffing leading to flight cancellations.”

Weidmann predicts the time period between July and early August will be the most popular season for National Parks, like Texas’ Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains.

Despite none of them being in Texas, the top 10 destinations in WalletHub’s report are all popular cities worth a glance in sun-friendly states like Hawaii, New York, and Florida.

The top 10 best summer destinations are:

  • No. 1 – Atlanta
  • No. 2 – Honolulu, Hawaii
  • No. 3 – Washington, D.C.
  • No. 4 – Wichita, Kansas
  • No. 5 – New York City
  • No. 6 – Chicago
  • No. 7 – Tampa, Florida
  • No. 8 – Orlando, Florida
  • No. 9 – Richmond, Virginia
  • No. 10 – Springfield, Missouri

Score a hole in one at these 10 top public golf courses in Dallas-Fort Worth

Tee Time

North Texas recently popped the cork for the new $520 million Omni PGA Frisco Resort, which opened in May and features its own entertainment district, full-service spa and salon, four swimming pools, 500 guest rooms and suites, 10 private ranch houses, and 13 unique dining options.

But as the name hints, the resort is very much about the golf. With Father's Day around the corner, we're revisiting Dallas-Fort Worth's best public courses, including the two newest ones found in Frisco and their alternative ways to play.

Load up the clubs and hit the green with this list:

Fields Ranch
Omni PGA Frisco Resort boasts two 18-hole championship golf courses, collectively known as Fields Ranch. Fields Ranch East was designed by Gil Hanse, and Fields Ranch West by Beau Welling.

Registered hotel guests can book tee times 120 days in advance of their stay to play Fields Ranch, which will be home to 26 major championships starting in May and continuing through 2034.

Not ready for the full 18-hole experience? Take a few practice swings at the Fields Ranch Practice Facility, then head to The Swing, a lighted 10-hole, par-3 short course, or The Dance Floor, a two-acre putting course and entertainment area.

This will also be the site of Frisco's first Lounge by Topgolf and PGA of America's new headquarters.

Take advantage of all that expertise at the PGA Coaching Center, which offers a high-tech, data-driven club-fitting and instruction experience.

Cowboys Golf Club
If you're a die-hard fan of both the 'Boys and the links, here's where your passions combine. The par-72, 6,553-yard course is as swanky as you'd expect from Jerry Jones, with years of Cowboys history scattered throughout. Of course, with all this top-of-the-line design comes a rather hefty price tag for the green fees, but you do definitely get your money's worth.

Meadowbrook Golf Course
Fort Worth
The 18-hole regulation facility is considered one of the top in Texas, with a par 71 that covers the most rolling terrain in the city. It's also a popular course, with a golf association of more than 200 members who play regularly.

Stevens Park Golf Course
Oak Cliff
All 18 holes of this par-70 course were completely redesigned in 2011, including new tee boxes, fairways, greens, and bunkers. Even the carts boast newly installed TekGPS units that track yardages to the front, middle, and back of the green (and help keep play moving). Appreciate mature oaks, dramatic elevation changes, and great views of downtown Dallas while you traverse the course, which is also affectionately known as "Little Augusta."

Pecan Valley
Fort Worth
Originally designed by golf course architect Ralph Plummer in 1963, Pecan Valley is actually two 18-hole golf courses separated by the Clear Fork of the Trinity River. The "River" course is considered one of the top municipal courses in Texas, while the "Hills" course is approximately 150 yards shorter. Several hundred trees were semi-recently planted and are just beginning to mature, which only bodes well for playing conditions in the years to come.

Texas Star Golf Course
The accolades come rolling in for this course, which has been recognized for its beauty and serene atmosphere by Golf Digest and Golf Weekly, among others. Unlike most public courses, which back up to private homes or run along busy streets, this par-71, 6,529-yard course is truly secluded, surrounded only by ponds, waterfalls, woodlands, and fairways. Reasonable green fees are a bonus, with residents of Euless receiving a 15 percent discount with proof of residence.

Tierra Verde Golf Club
As the first municipal course in the world to be certified as an Audubon Signature Sanctuary, Tierra Verde offers breathtaking natural scenery to go along with its challenging holes. The par-72 6,085-yard layout boasts some of the most uniquely designed holes in DFW, and was named the top course in DFW in 2012 by Avid Golfer.

The Tribute Golf Club
The Colony
Not had the chance to play Hogan's Alley at Carnoustie, Nos. 1 and 18 from St. Andrews, or the fifth from Royal Troon? Then you can experience the next best thing here in Texas, without having to fly across the pond. This par-72, 7,000-yard course is brilliantly designed while replicating the best links-style courses from the United Kingdom.

Waterchase Golf Club
Fort Worth
Like its name implies, Waterchase does indeed boast a cascading waterfall, found between the ninth and eighteenth greens. From tree-lined doglegs to split fairways, the risk and reward opportunities are abundant for the six sets of tees on the par-72 course. The club even received a nomination to Golf Digest's best new courses and promises to be "a round you'll remember."

Dallas steakhouse famous for big carrot opens location in McKinney

Steak News

McKinney gets its own location of an epic Dallas steakhouse: We're talking about Bob's Steak & Chop House, which is opening a location in District 121, the mixed-use development at the northeast corner of State Highway 121 and Alma Road, adjacent to Craig Ranch. It's opening on June 2.

According to a release, the expansion to McKinney represents a milestone for founder Bob Sambol, with roots that trace back to the original location on Lemmon Avenue since its inception in 1993.

The concept now has locations in Austin, downtown Dallas, Plano, Grapevine, and San Antonio, among others.

The McKinney location will have the same menu of steaks accompanied by baked potato and the restaurant's signature oversized carrot, plus a la carte sides, desserts, and seafood, as well.

The interior features a dining and bar area and cigar lounge done in jewel tones, and attentive staff, leather-bound host stand, custom green wallcovering, floor-to-ceiling fireplace made of calacatta marble, and sconces that resemble jewelry, which are said to cast a gentle glow upon the bar.

The grand opening of Bob's Steak & Chop House in District 121 has been in the works for more than a year. The restaurant is but one of many that are opening at the McKinney complex. Others include Mi Cocina, Common Table, 400 Gradi, the upscale Italian restaurant with Neapolitan pizza, and Zero Gradi, the dessert offshoot of 400 Gradi.