DFW’s Class A apartments – resilience during the last downturn

Despite the recession’s impacts, DFW did not fall as far and recovered more quickly than most major markets

July 13, 2020
Occupancy decline (peak-trough)
2.1 average percentage point decline
Effective rent losses (peak-trough)
6.4% average decline
Rent growth (trough-current)
27.5% average rent rebound
  • In the last cycle, DFW’s Class A occupancy peaked at 92.4 percent.  That was at the end of 2007. 

  • The Great Recession resulted in 140,000 DFW jobs lost between 2007 and 2009, or 4.6 percent of the job base.

  • This slowdown resulted in occupancy declining over 8 quarters to hit 89.9 percent at the end of 2009. 

  • This 2.5-point drop was in line with most markets and not as serious as what Seattle, Phoenix, or the Bay Area saw.

  • These softer DFW conditions did cause effective Class A rents to retrench.  It took 6 quarters for DFW to hit bottom, compared to 7 to 13 quarters for several major markets.

  • From this peak to trough, DFW lost 3.9 versus 6.4 percent for the major markets.  This made DFW one of the most resilient markets with only a $49 drop in monthly effective rent.

  • It took until mid 2012 for DFW rents to recover to their prior peak.  While 9 quarters may seem long, many major markets took 13 to 18 quarters.

  • Led by its stronger economy, 2012 saw DFW rents rebound before most markets.  Since bottom, Class A rents are up 24.4 percent, only slightly behind the average of the major markets – and keeping DFW still comparatively affordable.