Lower burden

Dallas-Fort Worth unlocks spot as one of best metros in U.S. for renters

Dallas-Fort Worth unlocks spot as one of best metros for renters

5 Mockingbird apartments in Dallas
Rent is less of a burden in Dallas-Fort Worth than it is in any of the 25 largest metro areas in the U.S. Photo courtesy of 5 Mockingbird

Millions of renters across the country struggle to pay the rent, but rent is less of a burden in Dallas-Fort Worth than it is in any of the 25 largest metro areas in the U.S., according to a new study. On top of that, rent in DFW is less burdensome than it is in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio.

In fact, DFW is one of just six major metro areas where the typical renter can afford the median monthly rent, according to the study, released by Apartment List. The others are Charlotte, Minneapolis, Phoenix, St. Louis, and San Francisco. (San Francisco makes the list because of the area’s relatively high-paying jobs and the large number of rent-controlled apartments.)

The study shows 47.2 percent of DFW renters were burdened by rent in 2018, up from 46.1 percent in 2017. The study found that last year, 21.2 percent of DFW households occupied by renters were “severely” cost-burdened (spending at least half their income on rent), while 26.1 percent were “moderately” cost-burdened.

Apartment List defines a cost-burdened household as one where rent eats up more than 30 percent of household income.

Among the country’s 100 largest metros, 49.7 percent of renters were cost-burdened in 2018, according to Apartment List’s analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau. For San Antonio, that figure was 50.4 percent; Austin and Houston were at 49.3 percent.

“With a national cost-burden rate of 49.7 percent, it’s safe to say the cost-burdened renter is increasingly becoming the norm. In fact, 2018 was the first time the national cost-burden rate increased since 2014,” Apartment List spokeswoman Olyvia Ruhlmann says. “If rents continue to increase while incomes remain relatively stagnant, metros like Dallas-Fort Worth will become even greater outliers.”

Despite DFW’s comparatively strong showing in the rent-burden category, that doesn’t mean rents are low. As of September 25, here are the median monthly rents for one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments in DFW’s biggest cities, according to Apartment List:

  • Fort Worth: $931 and $1,156
  • Dallas: $910 and $1,130
  • Arlington: $1,009 and $1,254
  • Plano: $1,179 and $1,465
  • Frisco: $1,302 and $1,617
  • Garland: $1,010 and $1,255
  • Irving: $1,001 and $1,244
  • Grand Prairie: $1,019 and $1,267
  • McKinney: $1,150 and $1,429