Sticker shock

Austin apartment rents falling faster than rest of Texas, says report

Austin apartment rents falling faster than rest of Texas, says report

Downtown Austin apartments skyline
Austin rents fell faster than anywhere else in Texas' 10 biggest cities. RoschetzkyIstockPhoto/Getty Images

Renters, take note: Despite the pandemic-induced population boom, Austin apartment rates actually fell last year.

report released December 28 by Apartment List  shows median rents in Austin took a year-over-year slide of 5.4 percent, accounting for the biggest fall among major Texas cities tracked by Apartment List. Rent was $1,179 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,440 for a two-bedroom apartment as of December 2020.

Despite the slide, they are still among the highest rents in the Lone Star State. Only Plano, where a median two-bedroom rent averages $1,528, claims higher apartment costs.

Nationwide, rents trended downward last year — about 1.5 percent — but apartment rents in "similar cities [to Austin] have seen prices increase, in some cases substantially," says the report. Still, Austin is still less affordable than most big cities, including Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.

In Texas overall, rent declined 2.1 percent last year. A snapshot throughout the state shows:

  • Houston posted a decrease of 3.5 percent last year. The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Houston stood at $900 a month; for a two-bedroom apartment, it was $1,070. However, rents have gone up in five of the 11 largest cities in the Houston metro area.
  • In San Antonio, median rents slipped 1 percent year over year, with a one-bedroom apartment going for $893 and a two-bedroom apartment for $1,083.
  • Dallas — where rent fell 2.6 percent last year — remains more affordable than most other large cities across the country, the report notes. A one-bedroom apartment in Dallas runs $980, and two-bedroom, $1,170.
  • Rents in in the popular beach destination Galveston dropped 3.5 percent over a year’s time. Median rent there is $890 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,130 for a two-bedroom apartment, according to Apartment List.