Chad Carter has been busy searching for apartments for the past few years.
As CEO and the only employee at apartment locator firm DFW Apartment Nerdz, he is thankful that the market has returned to some semblance of normalcy in the past six months.
“I’m not seeing the big price increases in rents we were seeing and there are some new projects opening, so there are vacancies,” he said. “I’m even seeing a few places reduce rents.”
It’s nothing like it was in 2021 and 2022, Carter says, when apartments were raising rents and vacancies were scarce.
“I’m glad that eased up, no one was very happy,” he said.
Jordan Brooks, senior market analyst at ALN Apartment Data, a nationwide multifamily data provider, is seeing the changes, too, as he looks at the numbers.
He has seen monthly average rents for new residents decline a bit for three consecutive months.
“And two months before that, we saw rent was flat so, broadly, the runaway rent growth that characterized the 2021 and early 2022 period fizzled out for Greater Fort Worth in July of last year,” he said.
Bill Kitchens, director of market analytics for the CoStar Group, said the retreat on rent increases is primarily due to new apartments coming on the market and relieving the demand pressure.
“Rent growth has turned negative this year due to heavier supply-side pressure,” he said.
That’s likely to continue for Fort Worth, with about 7,500 apartments under construction at present, the highest level on record, he said.
“We show approximately 8,600 new units (opening) through October of this year,” he said.
That’s well up from the previous rate of 6,500 new units that opened through October of 2019, which was the previous market high.
The new supply has been geographically widespread as well.
“Most submarkets are seeing at least one new property so far this year,” he said.
North Fort Worth has seen the most new openings, but Denton, Corinth and South Arlington have also seen considerable new supply. But these new openings are likely to slow in the future as financing costs increase.
That is causing some to predict that in two or three years, the area will return to the tight, constrained market of 2021-2022.
“I hope that doesn’t happen,” said Carter. “I’d like to be where it is now, where the landlords and the renters have some options.”
Carter is glad to see the new apartments come online, and he is also seeing some new trends in the offerings.
“Some of the newer complexes are offering electric car chargers,” he said. “You’re even seeing some older complexes add them. A few years ago there were very few new features being offered because the landlords didn’t need to.”
The market is seeing some different types of products attract a different type of customer, Carter said.
“The build-to-rent homes are making some people get into the rental market, people that want pets for instance or yards,” he said.
Carter is looking forward to seeing the new high-rise, Deco 969, open in downtown Fort Worth.
“Downtown Fort Worth needs something like that,” he said. “I hope that will be the first of many new projects downtown. There’s a lot of interest in that area.”
Bob Francis is business editor for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at email@example.com. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.