Dallas-Fort Worth Leads the Nation in Apartment Demand for Q3 2020

The DFW multifamility market also led in the second quarter with modest gains due to government stay-at-home orders.

Dallas-Fort Worth led the nation for apartment demand in the third quarter of 2020, according to a report from RealPage.

The top four markets in the nation were all in the Sunbelt, with Atlanta, Houston, and Phoenix coming in behind Dallas-Fort Worth. North Texas absorbed 8,957 units, Atlanta was at 8,425, and Houston at 7,751. Those top three markets accounted for 17 percent of the nation’s total demand.

Markets in many areas rebounded from the second quarter slump when government stay-at-home orders kept many apartment-seekers from moving. Even during the Q2 downturn, North Texas led the pack, absorbing 3,800 units.

Occupied apartment counts in the 150 largest U.S. markets increased by more than 145,000 units on net from July through September.

That’s the largest Q3 demand since the Great Recession showing that job growth occurred in many areas.

“While the U.S. economy has a long way to go before it’s fully healed, there’s enough job production to allow new household formation to return in some areas, so apartment demand is back,” said RealPage Chief Economist Greg Willett. “Leasing activity is still spotty by metro and by individual neighborhood, but the overall story is a good one.”

Not all metro areas saw increases. New York and San Francisco saw massive move-outs, losing 11,705 and 3,637 units respectively.

Along with occupancy growth, Dallas-Fort Worth led the nation in the number of apartments under construction in Q3 with 40,349 units, 10,000 more than each of the next two busiest multifamily construction markets, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.

Monthly rent charges in the Dallas region remained stable. Several markets saw sizable declines in rent charges compared to a year ago: San Francisco dropped 11 percent, San Jose 10.3 percent, and New York 8.5 percent. Riverside-San Bernardino was the leader in rising rents at 4.4 percent, followed by Sacramento at 3.7 percent, and Virginia Beach, VA, at 3.5 percent.

A version of this story first published in the Fall 2020 edition of the Dallas-Fort Worth Real Estate Review.

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