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Dallas-Fort Worth ranks No. 1 in U.S. for most active real estate market in last decade, report says

DFW ranks No. 1 for most active real estate market in last decade

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Some 323,250 permits for single-family homes were handed out in the DFW region over a decade. Photo courtesy of NextGen Real Estate

When your population explodes with over 1 million new residents, as Dallas-Fort Worth’s did from 2012 to 2021, you need to put more roofs over people’s heads.

As a result of the region’s booming population, DFW ranks first in the nation for the most activity in all sectors of real estate combined over the past decade, a new report from self-storage marketplace StorageCafe says.

“One of the fastest-growing metros in the country, [Dallas-Fort Worth] acted as a magnet for both new residents and businesses over the past decade, and the real estate market responded,” StorageCafe notes.

To see which areas of the country experienced the most impressive real estate transformations over the past decade – from 2012 to 2021 – StorageCafe looked at new construction in the single family, multifamily, self storage, office, retail and industrial sectors in the 50 largest metropolitan areas.

Overall, here is how No. 1-DFW ranks in the categories studied:

  • Second for single-family home permits (323,250).
  • Second for multifamily permits (233,246).
  • Second for new office space (nearly 55 million square feet).
  • First for new industrial space (more than 228 million square feet).
  • Second for new retail space (more than 47.8 million square feet).
  • First for new self-storage space (more than 22.9 million square feet).

Notably, Houston outpaced DFW in the most construction permits issued for single-family homes, with 392,136 permits in Houston compared to DFW's 323,250.

“Houston has been the primary destination for newcomers moving to Texas, especially Californians who find respite in Harris County’s lower home prices and tax rates, cheaper land, and sound economy,” StorageCafe says in explaining the demand for more homes in the area.

Aside from DFW, here's how other Texas metros stack up in the report:

Houston, No. 2

  • First for new retail space (more than 51.8 million square feet). 
  • Third for new office space (nearly 44.3 million square feet).
  • Third for new self-storage space (nearly 17.6 million square feet).
  • Fourth for multifamily construction permits (170,817).
  • Fourth for new industrial space (more than 153.3 million square feet).

Austin, No. 11

Austin ranks:

  • Fifth for single-family home permits (152,779).
  • Sixth for multifamily permits (133,951).
  • 10th for new office space (more than 23.4 million square feet).
  • 32nd for new industrial space (more than 24 million square feet).
  • Ninth for new retail space (nearly 15.2 million square feet).
  • 10th for new self-storage space (more than 8.3 million square feet).

“Austin manages to outperform many of the decidedly bigger metros in the top 10 for both single-family and multifamily construction,” StorageCafe says.

San Antonio, No. 20

San Antonio ranks:

  • 21st for single-family home permits (79,057).
  • 25th for multifamily permits (44,170).
  • 25th for new office space (more than 9.3 million square feet).
  • 29th for new industrial space (more than 30.4 million square feet).
  • 11th for new retail space (nearly 13.9 million square feet).
  • 18th for new self-storage space (more than 6.8 million square feet).