Writer: Liz Palmer
2 min read March 2022 — While it has been beneficial for the overall economy, the rapid population growth in the Dallas-Fort Worth region has had an unprecedented effect on North Texas’ residential real estate market. As businesses and people continue to relocate to the area, the local market has found itself scrambling to find enough homes to satisfy the growing demand.
RealPage recently reported that despite 80,000 new apartments coming online in Dallas over the past five years, the city is currently sitting at a 97.3% occupancy rate for its apartment market as of January 2022. Fort Worth wasn’t far behind with occupancy levels around 97.1%. With units and homes filling faster than the real estate market can keep up with, those looking to buy or rent are coming up empty-handed.
The City of Fort Worth has begun seeking out solutions to the supply and demand imbalance, updating their Economic Development Strategic Planopens PDF file published in 2017 to make accommodations. “A lot has happened since the strategic plan was first created in 2017, and while Fort Worth has seen a fair amount of success since then, there’s still a lot more work to be done to address well-known gaps in our local ecosystem and strategically set up our city for long-term economic success,” Director of Economic Development Robert Sturns said in a release.
The change was inspired by the “more urgent need for action on specific initiatives due to the convergence of three major factors: economic trends and disruptions accelerated by COVID-19, new opportunities for real estate development and business growth in Fort Worth, and ongoing workforce challenges – including social inequalities – further worsened by the pandemic.”
The updated plan to prioritize major initiatives, like equitable real estate development programming, will assist in ensuring housing inventory by continuing to focus on revitalization efforts for Fort Worth communities and redevelopment projects for mixed-use locations. Further attention will be given to citywide urban and mixed-use development and investments in equitable infrastructure that provides further options for housing that will increase the number of homes and units available.
Likewise, the City of Dallas’s Economic Development Policy for the next ten years prioritizes similar initiatives. One of these initiatives is focused on providing “a competitive supply of development-ready sites to meet demand for employment and housing growth.” This will be achieved through the strategies listed in the Neighborhood Plus and Comprehensive Housing Policy plans and building 90,000 new housing units and at least 3,264 workforce housing units per year. Like Forth Worth, Dallas will also be turning toward repurposing “underutilized downtown parking for redevelopment to support workforce housing and mixed-use development.”