Housing

The Cost of Housing (In Dallas) Is Damn High

DFW rents are at all-time high and home prices in the area are rising faster than anywhere in the country save Houston, say surveys released by a couple of real estate research firms. While Dallas remains one of the most affordable big cities in the United States, paying to keep a roof over one's head in 2014 was no small feat.

Renters faced an almost 5 percent increase in average prices, which reached a record $919 by the end of 2014, according to MPF Research in Dallas. The surge, MPF Research Vice President Greg Willett said in press release, was unusual because the bevy of new construction in DFW usually keeps prices down. Dallas' high occupancy rate (94.7 percent) help keep prices up, Willett said.

Willett went on to say that increased construction in the urban core will limit further increases in 2015.

"The leasing environment is about to get much more competitive in Uptown, downtown and Oak Lawn," Willett said. "Rent cuts to help move a huge block of new supply through the system could be on the way, especially given the number of renter households who can afford the high prices commanded by new apartments there is somewhat limited."

Those looking to escape the rent race in Dallas face the daunting prospect of home prices that are rising at the second quickest rate in the country. CoreLogic's latest Home Price Index reflects a 9.1 percent increase in overall home prices. Houston home prices are up 10.6 percent.

Texas is one of seven states -- along with Colorado, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wyoming -- to have its highest home prices since the Home Price Index started in 1976.

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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