Boasting an exceptional demographic expansion, Dallas-Fort Worth sustained a robust multifamily market throughout the cycle, with steady rent growth and substantial inventory expansion before the COVID-19 outbreak. First-quarter data still reflected steady performance, with upcoming numbers expected to illustrate the impact of the health crisis in more definitive terms. Still, the metro’s average rent was up 0.1 percent on a trailing three-month basis through April, outperforming the U.S. rate.
DFW gained 86,200 jobs in the 12 months ending in March, accounting for a 2.9 percent expansion and well above the 1.4 percent national average. Growth was led by its largest sectors—professional and business services and trade, transportation and utilities. Yet, industries in the latter sector, hit hard by stay-at-home orders, have been deeply affected. American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, both headquartered in the metro, have dramatically cut flights. Additionally, by early May, more than 2.1 million Texans had filed for unemployment relief.
After 2019’s $6.2 billion cycle peak, sales in 2020’s first four months totaled $1.3 billion, nearly 30 percent below last year’s figure. Meanwhile, some 4,600 units came online and 47,000 were underway as of April. Following the slowdown brought by the health crisis, both sales and construction are expected to moderate in the short term.