Dallas Apartments Getting Smaller, More Expensive

Don't ask how much.
Don't ask how much. Joe Potato/iStock
Anyone renting or looking to rent in Dallas won't be surprised by this news, but the confirmation is nice at least: Apartments across DFW have gotten smaller and significantly more expensive over the last 10 years, according to new analysis from RENTCafé, a rental listing website.

Between 2008 and 2018, the average apartment in Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano and Irving has shrunk between 4 and 8 percent, while rents have gone up by between 40 and 50 percent over the same period, RENTCafé says.

In Dallas proper, the average apartment built in 2008 was 1,033 square feet. This year, the average new apartment measured 952 square feet, a change in size of 8  percent. The overall average apartment size in Dallas is 832 square feet. 
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North Texas residents don't live in the U.S.' biggest apartments, but they don't live in the smallest, either.

Getting your hands on one of those Dallas apartments would've cost $795 a month in 2008. This year, Dallas average rent was $1,179 per month, a bump of 48 percent in 10 years.

Nationwide, apartments are about 5 percent smaller and 28 percent more expensive this year than they were in 2008. Denver saw the biggest increase in average rent at 84 percent, while San Antonio saw an 8 percent decrease in rent, the only decrease among the U.S.' top 100 markets. Houston had the country's smallest average rent increase at just 10 percent.

While Dallas' rising rent pales in comparison with Austin, which saw a 55 percent increase in the period surveyed by RENTCafé, it still represents the 12th-biggest jump among any of the nation's 100 biggest rental markets, according to RENTCafé.

The most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau finds that Dallas County's median household income is just less than $54,000 per year, about 9 percent higher than the $49,000 five-year average posted by the Census Bureau in 2012. Income growth isn't coming close to matching rent growth, putting tremendous stress on lower income Dallas County residents.

“If you're making $10 per hour or $15 per hour or even $20 an hour between two parents and you’ve got a family of four, it is really tough to survive on that, so even a slight increase in rent could be all it takes to have that family end up on our door,” Ellen Magnis, who works for Family Gateway, a Dallas nonprofit that provides services to families affected by homelessness, told the Observer earlier this year. 
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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young