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This Expert Explains Why Apartment Rents Keep Climbing In Dallas-Fort Worth


Apartment rents in North Texas continue to rise, outpacing many cities across the country but still remaining slightly below the national average. One reason Dallas-Fort has seen increasingly higher rents — more people are moving here to start or develop their professional lives. 

Steve Brown covers news and trends in real estate for The Dallas Morning News. He details a few factors behind the rising rents in North Texas. 

Interview Highlights: 

The rent increases and how they compare to years ago:  "This last year they were up about 6 percent and that sort of doubled the increase of what it is normally. So, Dallas forever was a very cheap place to rent or own, and we still are compared to national averages, but it's nothing like it was pre-recession. And it is certainly nothing like, say, 20 years ago."

The average price for rent in Dallas-Fort Worth: "It's a bit over a $1,000 a month — about $1,040. And over the last, say, 10 years, that's up like 25, 30 percent. So, yes, it's hard on apartment renters right now, but it's also real hard if you're trying to buy something. You really can't win either way on it."

How rents in Dallas-Fort Worth compare to other cities: "We're still a little bit below. The U.S. big city average is about $1,200, but you've got to remember places like New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, where people are spending thousands and thousands of dollars a month on rent. But obviously there are a lot of places where you can rent apartments cheaper than $1,000 a month."

Why many areas are seeing rising rents: "We're like No. 1 or 2 in the country for job growth. We're creating more than a 100,000 jobs a year here, and that's attracting a lot of young professional people. For instance, the people are moving here from Toyota — their headquarters is coming here. They're coming from Southern California, and they're coming from New York City, and they're moving a lot of them into high-rise buildings or luxury buildings and uptown, believe it or not, driving all the way to Plano. They think our prices are wonderful, because they're used to paying Los Angeles rents or New York rents."

The top three reasons behind the rent increases: "The cost of construction. The cost of land has gone up huge in uptown and downtown [Dallas]. If you haven't gone and looked, even if you have no intention of renting one, go to one of these newest apartment projects. It will blow you away with what they've got for features in there. Ten years ago, 15 years ago, no one would have even considered the kind of features they have in there: the fancy workout rooms, the lounges, the party rooms, resort style swimming pools that look like the Ritz Carlton. So, one reason the rents are higher is that the places are getting nicer and nicer and nicer."

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

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Justin Martin is KERA’s local host of All Things Considered, anchoring afternoon newscasts for KERA 90.1. Justin grew up in Mannheim, Germany, and avidly listened to the Voice of America and National Public Radio whenever stateside. He graduated from the American Broadcasting School, and further polished his skills with radio veteran Kris Anderson of the Mighty 690 fame, a 50,000 watt border-blaster operating out of Tijuana, Mexico. Justin has worked as holiday anchor for the USA Radio Network, serving the U.S. Armed Forces Network. He’s also hosted, produced, and engineered several shows, including the Southern Gospel Jubilee on 660 KSKY.