Rent Report

Recapping Fort Worth rent prices in 2018 — and what's ahead

Recapping Fort Worth rent prices in 2018 — and what's ahead

Fort Worth downtown skyline at night
Fort Worth remains an affordable rental market. Photo by leekris/iStock

Renting in Fort Worth remains an affordable alternative to nearby Dallas — and a steal compared to Texas' other top markets.

The average rent for all apartment units in Fort Worth is $1,030, with one-bedrooms posting at a median $917, and two bedrooms clocking in at $1,124; in Big D, those rates clock in at $1,050 and $1,325, respectively.

The year-over-year price change in Fort Worth is hardly noticeable, as one-bedroom rents have increased by 1 percent, while two-bedroom rents have gone up only 2 percent. Here's a look back at Fort Worth rents this year — and what's to come.

January showed Fort Worth one-bedroom rents at $888. They dipped a little in February but rebounded back to $888 in March. Two-bedrooms began January at $1,122, then dropped slightly in March to $1,117.

One-bedrooms drifted lower during quarter two and ended up at $871 in late May. Two-bedroom units also moved downward from March’s $1,117 to a May figure of $1,104. The slight decline continued in the summer as one-bedroom apartments fell to a median $875, but two-bedroom residences managed to rebound slightly to $1,107.

Looking ahead
There are important factors that drive apartment rents, and, in Texas, energy prices are one such element. The Permian Basin is currently pumping record amounts of West Texas Crude, and as fracking has proven, there is lots more to come. In fact, soon, the United States, led by Texas, will become the world’s No. 1 oil producer. It’s a supply and demand world, and the present oil supply can barely keep up the increased world demand.

This has led to oil prices in the mid-70-dollar range, and any odd event like increased Middle East tensions, a big Gulf storm, or a series of refinery outages can cause oil prices to rise. Healthy oil prices equal a great Texas economy, and that, in turn, will bring more people to Texas, and rents will rise.

Mortgage interest rates have been also trending higher since the Federal Reserve seems to be on an unstoppable course to normalize interest rates. When traditional home mortgage rates climb to over 5 percent, many would-be buyers become renters, as they can only qualify for smaller loan amounts. With more tenant applications, landlords start to feel more comfortable about raising rents.

Of course, a serious economic recession can quickly knock down oil prices and interest rates, but frankly, we don’t see that happening through the end of 2018.