While many apartment dwellers in Dallas-Fort Worth have seen their rents stay mostly flat or even drop in the past year, apartment renters in one Metroplex city have watched their housing costs skyrocket.
A new report from apartment website Zumper shows the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Arlington shot up 15.5 percent from December 2017 to December 2018, landing at $820 a month. The monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Arlington soared even more during that period, jumping 16 percent to $1,090.
Among the 100 largest U.S. cities, Arlington witnessed some of the steepest rent increases from December 2017 to December 2018, the Zumper report says.
Zumper analyst Crystal Chen says Arlington and other cities of similar size have been playing catch-up this year with bigger cities such as Dallas and Fort Worth in terms of apartment rental rates. Many markets like Arlington — including Laredo and Lubbock — have experienced double-digit rent growth throughout 2018, she says.
By comparison, rents in major cities like Dallas, Austin, and Houston have been relatively flat in the past year, Chen says.
“It seems that a price ceiling for the more expensive cities may have been hit, so people are looking for more affordability and moving to the cheaper, less central cities,” she says. “Commutes may be longer, but rent is much cheaper. This new demand in these less expensive cities has been driving up prices there, as housing stock is not yet available to meet it.”
In DFW, Fort Worth also posted a rise in rents over the past year, according to Zumper. From December 2017 to December 2018, the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Fort Worth climbed 6.1 percent to $1,050, the Zumper report shows. For a two-bedroom apartment, the hike was more modest — 1.6 percent, winding up at $1,250.
Unlike those in Arlington and Fort Worth, many DFW apartment dwellers have enjoyed relatively stable rental rates in the past year or even declines.
The new analysis comes on the heels of a report that said the cost of living "comfortably" in both Arlington and Fort Worth has skyrocketed over the past year.
In Dallas, the median apartment rent for a one-bedroom apartment went down 4.5 percent from December 2017 to December 2018 ($1,260), according to Zumper, and down 2.9 percent for a two-bedroom apartment ($1,690).
Meanwhile, the median monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Plano fell 3.5 percent between December 2017 and December 2018, settling at $1,110, Zumper’s data shows. For a two-bedroom apartment in Plano, the rent went up just 0.7 percent to $1,500.
The situation in Irving is similar. Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment crept up 0.9 percent to $1,130, while rent for a two-bedroom apartment inched up 1.4 percent to $1,440, according to Zumper.
Looking ahead to 2019, Chen says it remains to be seen whether rents will, for the most part, remain stable in DFW. She says that’ll depend on the ability of apartment construction to keep pace with growing demand.