The Changing Housing Landscape in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex

While much of the country is still facing higher-than-ever foreclosure rates and unemployment rates that aren’t declining as fast as we would prefer, Dallas has managed to stay afloat. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, construction is leading the way for job creation in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Metroplex. Jobs in construction, mining and logging grew by 9.8 percent from January 2012 to January 2013. The Dallas area alone added 10,700 construction jobs within that 12-month period.

According to a more recent survey of 800 companies conducted by The Associated General Contractors of America, 47 percent of the contractors surveyed in Texas expect the industry to continue to grow in 2014.

The stable DFW economy continues to draw new residents to the area, furthering the growth of housing and construction. There seems to be no shortage of construction jobs available (a search on turns up more than 700 job listings) and new residential construction projects are popping up all over the Metroplex.

With the growth in the industry and evolving demographics, we are also seeing a shift in the housing landscape. Below are some of the top trends we are seeing in DFW and ones we can expect to see in the future:

Micro units

Studio micro apartments are becoming increasingly popular in urban areas across the country. These tiny units measure as little as 220 square feet, with an average of 350 square feet, measuring an average 40 smaller than the standard studio apartment.

The shift toward micro units is driven by demographics. Since the recession, analysts have noted that many of the Millennial/Y Generation favor smaller, more affordable living spaces near the urban center of their city. The economy is another driving factor. Unemployment rates remain high, leaving many renters, especially recent college graduates, looking for affordable housing.

Urban infill

When it comes to multifamily housing, urban infill areas are the golden child of locations. New developments located in or near central business districts and busy urban submarkets are prime real estate for investors. Tenant demand for housing in urban areas give investors confidence they’re making a safe bet.

KWA has worked on a number of urban infill projects throughout Dallas. We are currently working on 1400 Belleview, a mixed-use development close to downtown.

Suburban growth

On the flip side, there are a few reasons to build in suburbia: primarily rental costs for tenants. Those families and individuals who can’t afford $1,400 for a one bedroom unit in Dallas’ Uptown are flocking to areas like Plano, where $1,100 can get you a two-bedroom unit. Job growth in North Texas isn’t limited to Dallas. Areas like Frisco and Alliance are also seeing a boom in employment, which increases demand for housing in the suburbs.

One thing the trends agree on: The DFW Metroplex is a hot spot for multifamily development. The economy and employment rates are driving residents to the area, making it a prime location for real estate development.

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