I hope you are making $13,000 more than you did five years ago. If not, you may have found that Dallas has becoming markedly less affordable.
A new study shows that the average income needed to afford the average rent in Dallas is now $69,959. That’s a $13,088 increase over the average income required to afford the average rent in Dallas in 2015. The study came to those conclusions by looking at the average rental rate of a two-bedroom apartment in the United States’ 25 largest cities and assuming that responsible, prudent renters should spend around 28 percent of their income on rent.
If the simplicity of that methodology is already firing off red flags in your synapses, save your brain juice. This is another one of those marketing studies with iffy methodology designed to divert your eyes to a product. But the brute comparisons in this analysis do illuminate some intriguing trends.
For example, by combing available rent listings, the study found that the average monthly rent of a two-bedroom apartment in Dallas shot up around 22 percent between 2015 and 2020, from $1,327 to $1,632. That said, rent is down around 11 percent compared to 2019, suggesting that the pandemic is having an impact on what landlords can charge for rent.
That’s significant. Lower rental incomes mean landlords can head down to the central appraisal district next year and argue that their properties are worth less than they used to be. This is the first evidence that local governments may see a significant drop in property tax revenue in the next two or three years.
This seems to hold true across the board. A quick look at the cities with the most expensive rents shows that only Boston–a medical hub–experienced a rental increase between 2019 and 2020. You still need to pay $4,545 for your average two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco, the most expensive U.S. city, but that’s a slight dip from 2019’s average of $4,593. We might expect that to drop even further as tech companies expand remote working. A survey found that 2 out of every 3 tech workers would ditch San Francisco if given the option.
Despite the sharp rise in average rent, Dallas is still a relatively affordable city. It ranks 13 on this year’s list, which is a few notches down from 2015 when Dallas ranked 11. The takeaway: Dallas is getting more expensive, but so is everywhere else–at least, for now.