Rental market less competitive in Austin, Houston

Data from RentCafe ranked three major Texas metros as “less competitive”

(Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)
(Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)

Rental markets in Austin, San Antonio and Houston aren’t very competitive.

In Austin and San Antonio, an average of 12 prospective tenants apply for every apartment on the market. In Houston the number is about 11, and in Dallas and Fort Worth, it’s 14, according to an end-of-year report from RentCafe.

Austin is one of the least competitive rental markets in the country, the Austin Business Journal reported, citing the report. Austin ranked sixth for rental-market competitiveness out of all markets across Texas.

RentCafe rated markets on a scale of zero to 130, with markets scoring 90 or higher classified as highly competitive. Those scoring 45-90 are considered competitive. And 45 or lower are considered less competitive. Austin and San Antonio scored 39, and Houston scored 27. Fort Worth and Dallas scored in the “competitive” range, with 53 and 57 respectively.

The study looked at the number of days rental units remained vacant, the percentage of occupied rental apartments, the number of prospective tenants, lease renewals and newly built apartments in 2022.

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None of Texas’ markets landed in the highly competitive range. El Paso scored the highest in the state with 77, followed by McAllen at 70.

The data indicates what cities are flush with supply.
The 18,661 new apartments built across 68 Austin communities last year contributed to the low competitiveness in the rental market. About 40,000 more apartments are in the pipeline across more than 100 projects in Austin, the ABJ reported.

Austin scored 41 on the competitiveness scale last year, but that number dropped to 37.5 during the peak rental season, from May to August. Houston, Midland-Odessa, Corpus Christi and San Antonio were the only Texas areas that had an increase in competitiveness during the peak.

Occupancy rates in Austin dropped a fraction last year, from 95.1 percent to 94.7 percent. Renewal rates fell to 55.4 percent, from 58.2 percent during the first part of the year.

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— Victoria Pruitt