By: Walter Bialas
It’s hard to miss the ongoing media attention about DFW’s apartment development pipeline. We decide to examine the sector to get a better sense of where the market stands in terms of recent deliveries and new product positioned to come on line.
We recognize that actual delivery dates are difficult to benchmark perfectly across so many properties. Even with that, as we tally-up units completed in the first half of 2015, we estimate that they are running 91% occupancy. That is a really good number; underscoring that solid demand fundamentals are in place. In some ways, this is not a surprise because of the level of growth we are seeing in our market.
In comparison, occupancy is more in the 70% range for units that have delivered since July 2015. That is also a good number because these units, for the most part, are still in lease-up with several delivering only in the last couple of months.
Overall, the average lease-up pace for these newer assets has been 35 per month, per project. While that metric may be a bit over-stated depending on actual delivery date and leasing in individual projects, it still underscores that demand is keeping pace with new supply – so far.
As you can see from the chart below, the challenge here is for demand to continue – and to increase – as deliveries ramp higher in the coming months. Starting essentially now, and continuing through the end of 2017, we look to have a fairly constant supply of new product hitting the market. Given the volume of these additions, there may be some short-term over-supply issues depending on submarket and product-type, resulting in slower lease-up and probably some concessions that may be needed to keep velocity up in product that is not perfectly positioned (location, unit features, amenities, price). If this is the case, existing properties will also have to work to maintain occupancy.
On the positive side, the North Texas economic engine is expected to continue for the foreseeable future, an estimated 100,000 jobs annually, providing an ample supply of new residents to fill these units.
In the end, for both new and existing properties, it comes down to balancing the Three P’s: product, price and pace.