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Dallas Renters Get the Biggest Splash for Their Bucks in the Suburbs, Experts Say

Is that a pool we see back there? Nope. You're better off in the suburbs, one website says.
Is that a pool we see back there? Nope. You're better off in the suburbs, one website says.
courtesy apartments.com

It’s still summertime. It’s hot. Everyone wants a pool. But where can renters get the biggest splash for their buck?

According to data from apartments.com, an online apartment-listing website, living in the ‘burbs increases the chances that apartment dwellers will have access to amenities like pools and gyms at the average market rental price.

Of Dallas’ more than 777K listed units, about 404K of them are located in the suburbs, for the market’s average rental price of $1,200, compared with about 73K units for that price in the Central Business District, according to the site’s data. Still, for those set on paying average market price in the suburbs, only about 130.5K listings (32%) offer a pool. Twice as many (64%) offer a gym, and about 40% of listings offer an in-unit washer and dryer.

For those opting to settle in the city at the average price, however, about 15K of the listings offer a pool, 33K offer a gym and 23K offer in-unit washers and dryers, writes Janel Kerigan, a public relations coordinator who works with apartments.com. Kerigan points out that the likelihood of pool access then drops to 21%, while on-site gym access slides to 45% and the chances of having an in-unit washer and dryer falls to 32%.
Analyst Paul Hendershot believes that the apartment rental situation in Dallas is rather unique.

Many metros have sworn off the suburbs, “convinced that millennials would all live in central business districts and drink craft beer,” he writes in an email. “Notably, the suburbs of North Dallas have proven to be remarkably resilient.”

The suburbs emerged as stand-alone entertainment and employment nodes, growing by 50% since 2010 and adding 21,000 units, accounting for 13% of the total construction, according to Hendershot’s assessment of apartment.com data. He noted that downtown has 1,900 units under construction and the largest project to deliver recently was the 45-story AMLI Fountain Place with 366 apartments at a rental price of $3.05 per square foot.

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“There are only a handful of other properties that average over the $3 a square foot mark,” he writes, adding that a few months ago The Hamilton in Deep Ellum delivered 310 units at an asking rental price of $2.83 per square foot.

Dallas’ diverse product type, with about 30% of its inventory built from 1980-1990, has given developers a chance to reimagine vintage properties that are often seen as outdated, according to Hendershot, particularly those in the mid-cities and East Dallas priced at below the metro average.

However, it’s not all about poolside tans and admirable abs. Current market data also reflects a local community that has become more pet-friendly. Hendershot believes that with many people holding off on marriage and prioritizing their educations and career goals, pets have filled a need for companionship.

“As one could assume, living in the suburbs increases your likelihood to these property amenities at the average price,” writes Kerigan regarding pools, gyms and the like. “But no matter if you live in the suburbs or the CBD, looks like renters may need to pay more than the average asking price to guarantee access to these on-site amenities.”

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