New data shows that the pandemic has not put much of dent in Texas rental demand, but prices are stagnate.
According to apartment marketplace Abodo, Texas' median one-bedroom apartment rent fell $7 from April to June 2020, down to $1,012 from $1,019. Conversely, national one-bedroom median rents rose about 1 percent, growing slightly from $1,088 in April to $1,097 in June.
Mirroring Texas, Austin’s second-quarter one- and two-bedroom rental markets were basically flat, with one-bedroom units falling $6 from a median price of $1,297 in April to $1,291 in June. And, while two-bedrooms reported some slight movement during Q2, they settled at $1,563 in June, a drop of 1.3 percent from the median April price of $1,582.
Austin's popularity has been balancing any negative COVID-19 rental price effects, Abodo says, as people are still flocking to Austin and looking for places to live. Still, seeing stable prices is positive for potential Capital City renters.
The Texas residential rental market remains steady for several reasons:
- Amid the pandemic, many people are staying put and have put off moving plans for now.
- Some residents have had to sell homes they could no longer afford and have therefore entered the rental market.
- Landlords are reluctant to raise rents when collecting rent during COVID-19 can be an issue.
- Some new apartment developments have slowed or paused construction.
Overall, property managers and landlords are facing a new normal of life, specifically in this virtual world during the COVID-19 pandemic, Abodo explains.
But decreases in supply have offset any instances of falling demand, and therefore, the market is stable right now. If the economy does not improve, construction financing could dry up quickly, and paused apartment construction may stay that way.
In the coming months, we may continue to see lessened demand tempered by smaller apartment supply, pointing to continued stagnation for the residential rental market in Austin and Texas as a whole.