Housing Report

Here's how COVID-19 has impacted the Fort Worth housing market

Here's how COVID-19 has impacted the Fort Worth housing market

Fort Worth skyline
Fort Worth rents rose more than 1 percent in June. Photo by Jeremy Woodhouse/Getty Images

Fort Worth apartment rent prices seem mostly unaffected by COVID-19 — at least thus far, according to apartment marketplace Abodo.

The site reports that in June, median one-bedroom rents rose a healthy 1.43 percent month-over-month to $1,135, while two-bedroom units gained 1.08 percent in June to $1,410. 

Fort Worth's rent trends align with neighboring Dallas, where one- and two-bedroom rents increased 1.28 percent and 0.83 percent, respectively. Houston also reported general rent increases this month, while the typically hot Austin market saw one- and two-bedroom apartment rents fall. 

Amid the pandemic, rental markets are seeing some new trends, Abodo says. 

Staying put
Social distancing extends to apartment hunting, too, and those that are looking for safety first are just staying home, thus, leasing is slowing down, Abodo states. Many would-be Fort Worth movers do not want to take the chance of COVID-19 exposure, so finding a new place may be put on the back burner, according to the rental site.

Virtual tours
Virtual tours have gained importance amid the stay-home orders, and savvy leasing professionals are hooking up with the many virtual tour platforms available. Some landlords are going the DIY route, while others are using more traditional apartment rental sites. Those moving to digital showings are seeing better traffic, and Abodo expects virtual tours to become a big part of the apartment rental scene even after the pandemic.

Home sales
Tarrant County home sales took a big hit in May, as closed sales fell 28.5 percent. Inventory was down from 2.5 to 2.2 months, days on the market rose by five, and active listings fell by a big 15.2 percent. The median price of a Tarrant County home rose a tiny 0.4 percent to $247,900.

While sales that did occur did not reflect price weakness, real estate agents have seen a definite and quick drop in general action and enthusiasm, according to Abodo. Contributing to the current market conditions is the hesitance of sellers to put their homes on the market due to coronavirus concerns.

Unlike renting an apartment, very few people will commit to buying a home without an in-person visit. Therefore, as much as virtual tours might pave the way for an eventual sale, until COVID-19 is behind us, it is likely that we will see less traffic for sellers, Abodo says. 

What’s next
One bright spot for the housing market is that mortgage rates are at historic lows. This means more buying power for Fort Worth home purchasers, and the low rates are helping to offset the otherwise negative pandemic housing effects. However, as the uncertainty of the pandemic continues, Abodo expects the Fort Worth market — for both rentals and sales — to face continued challenges.