Everything, they say, is bigger in Texas. Unfortunately, that means the price of rent in some Lone Star State communities.
As industry, commerce, technology and yes, even the oil business continue to boom Deep In The Heart Of Texas, the most successful of those communities have seen larger-than-average growth in rental prices over the last year.
So, where are the top 10 Texas cities where rent has increased the most over the last 12 months? It's mostly suburbs of major metropolises, with housing in demand, outside places like Dallas and Houston. It's primarily desirable commuter communities with downtown shopping, ample parking and convenient travel into its primary city's center.
Here are the Texas cities where rent has increased by the largest percentage over the past year.
Sitting along the shore of Galveston Bay aside Clear Lake, Seabrook is a beautiful waterfront town filled with shore residents, daytrippers and tourists alike. A bevy of fish markets dot Waterfront Drive where fishermen and shrimpers unload their daily catches to be shipped fresh to seafood restaurants, both local and throughout the Houston area.
Seabrook's downtown is filled with those aforementioned seafood eateries, along with a collection of antique shops and bed and breakfasts. The city offers several parks and green spaces, most linked by a network of trails nearly eight miles long from Pine Gully Park in the north end of town to Rex Meador Park north of the inlet, which is also the course for the annual Lucky Trails Marathon.
That inlet over the mouth of Clear Lake offers a bevy of marinas, hotels and restaurants along the waterfront. Ease of access after the construction of the first bridge over Clear Creek south to Kemah in 1961 helped double Seabrook's population to 6,000 residents.
A second, fixed-span bridge constructed in 1986 made access even easier and again doubled the city's population to 12,000 by 2010. As population increases, so have rents over the last 12 months. The average price for a one-bedroom apartment has risen by 12.60 percent to an average monthly rate of $1,060.
Situated at the north end of the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area, the city of Denton is a DFW suburb, the 12th largest in the Metroplex. Denton operated mostly as an independent community until the construction of Interstate 35 in the early 1960s, with Denton as the site of the northern end of the I-35E and I-35W split and the opening of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in 1974.
Those connections ushered in a population explosion through today, where Denton is the seventh-fastest growing city with more than 100,000 residents in the nation, and closer ties with Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington.
Denton is also at heart a college town, home to the 38,000 enrollment University of North Texas. As with many college towns – and many Texas towns – Denton has a vibrant music scene, and is known for events including the North Texas State Fair & Rodeo, the Denton Arts & Jazz Festival and the 35 Denton Music Festival, which bring more than 300,000 combined visitors to town each year.
Rents have risen over the last year in the shadow of North Dallas Forty. An average one-bedroom unit lists for $1,046 a month, up 13.73 percent from a year ago.
At the northern tip of Harris County, Spring is a geographically-large region in the family-oriented northern Houston suburbs. The region is bordered on the east by Interstate 45, which is a corridor for retail, chain and big box stores.
The remainder of the town is bordered by parks and green space along Spring and Cyprus Creeks, including Pundt Park, the Spring Creek Greenway, the Cypruswood Golf Course and Mercer Botanic Gardens, and a smattering of associated hiking trails.
But the heart of Spring is the original town center, known as Old Town Spring. Dating back to the early 1800s, Spring was an early target of the young Bonnie and Clyde, with the town's bank still featuring the duo's bullet holes.
Old Town Spring now sports a trendy and retail-heavy main street with more than 150 shops, cafés, brewpubs and art galleries surrounded by historic sites, including Wunsche Bros. Saloon, the town's first two-story building.
As residents continue to move from Houston to grounds away from potential flooding from the next hurricane, rents have increased in places like Spring. A one-bedroom has increased by 14.22 percent in Spring, to an average monthly rent of $1,032.
On the other side of the Dallas/Fort Worth is Allen, a large suburb in the northeast corner of the Metroplex. Founded in 1872, the city was an original warehouse stop along the Houston and Central Texas Railroad. Six years later, Allen gained infamy as the site of Texas' first train robbery, by the Sam Bass gang.
Like other Dallas Metroplex towns, Allen was mostly a quiet railroad town until the highway construction boom of the 1950s, with the North Central Expressway (US 75) bisecting the town, and the opening of DFW airport. At this time, the population exploded from a meager 650 at the opening of the highway to an estimated 103,000 today.
As the number of residents increased, so did retail in Allen, with the corridors aside the Expressway and along Greenville Avenue becoming a hub for restaurants and chain shopping, surrounded by swaths of tract housing and apartment complexes.
With a continuing population increase like that, it's no surprise that rents are on the way up. At a monthly average of $1,212 for a one-bedroom apartment, rents in Allen are the most expensive of the top 10 — up 15.94 percent from a year ago.
As with many cities in Texas, Buda began life as a railroad town, a stop on the International-Great Northern Railroad. But unlike other cities, Buda didn't begin life as Buda. Founded in 1881 as Du Pre, the town was forced to change its name in 1887 because there was another city in Texas already sporting the name.
Buda, either named for Hungarian refugees or the Spanish word for “widow," is a small town of about 7,000, just to the southwest of Austin. Its commercial downtown is the berms alongside Interstate 35, with large retailers, home stores, traveler hotels and strip malls, while its residential downtown is down Main Street by the original railroad depot with quaint cafes, coffee shops, pubs and historic buildings.
But none of that holds a candle to Buda's real attraction — the town's famous annual Weiner Dog Races. Organized by the Buda Lions Club, the yearly tradition draws national attention to the town each April where “wiener" takes all.
Just 15 miles down the highway, the commuter town is becoming an increasingly important bedroom community for folks working in Austin. As the population and jobs increase up in Austin, Buda has become an in-demand community for commuters. The rise in Buda rental prices, up 16.25 percent year-to-year, is a reflection of this demand, with an average one-bedroom unit listing for $1,154 a month.
This Pasadena is not the home of the Rose Parade. This Pasadena is the largest suburb of Houston, and indeed, it's named after the more famous California city. The Texas version is a large plot of land that stretches from the east side of Houston along the Buffalo Bayou all the way to Clear Lake on Galveston Bay.
After the great hurricane of 1900, Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, sent 1.5 million strawberry plants to Pasadena to aid in economic recovery, directly creating an entire industry for which the city eventually claimed the title “Strawberry Capital of the World."
The annual Pasadena Strawberry Festival, created to honor this history, draws nearly 60,000 visitors. The city also features 42 municipal parks, plus the 2,500-acre Armand Bayou Nature Center, one of the last remnants of the region's original ecostructure.
Pasadena radiates a distinct citified western vibe, thanks mainly to its place in movie history as the setting for the 1980 John Travolta classic "Urban Cowboy." Additionally, the city benefits from its proximity to Hobby Airport, Houston's secondary airfield, just to its west, the Houston Ship Channel, one of the nation's busiest seaports, to the east and the Johnson Space Center, adjacent to Pasadena's southern tip.
Large and culturally independent neighborhoods with their own histories dot the town, including places such as Clear Lake City, El Jardin del Mar and Golden Acres. All told, the working-class suburb's population of more than 150,000 residents is nearly three-quarters Hispanic and Latino.
And while these neighborhoods remain fairly inexpensive with an average one-bedroom apartment listing renting for just $792 a month, that represents a steep increase of 16.68 percent over last year's rates.
The area of southwestern Dallas County where Cedar Hill is located is known as “Best Southwest," and for good reason. The area is among the most demographically diverse regions in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and among the fastest-growing areas of the Metroplex.
The town came of age with a very Texas-sized history. In 1856, Cedar Hill was hit by a tornado that killed nine and left just two buildings standing in the entire town. Then, in 1932, Bonnie and Clyde associate Raymond Hamilton, living in a hideout in town, robbed the First State Bank of Cedar Hill not just once, but twice. But in the ensuing decades, the city took charge of its own economic fate, creating a haven for retail expansion.
Special sales taxes voted on in the early 1990s led to a retail boom in Cedar Hill. Since the start of the millennium, a plethora of retail shopping centers opened, including The Plaza at Cedar Hill, Cedar Hill Crossing, Cedar Village, Pleasant Run Towne Crossing, Cedar Hill Pointe and Hillside Village, among others, crafting a shopping utopia for residents and local visitors.
Cedar Hill also offers 32 parks and green spaces, as well as the plateau known as Hill Tower, where 14 radio and television antennas sit, the largest concentration of mass communication towers in the nation.
With such an excess of mid- and upscale shopping and residential growth comes an increase in the cost of living. Up 16.89 percent from last year, rental pricing for a one-bedroom in Cedar Hill can be had for an average of $1,049 a month.
In 1945, golfer Byron Nelson won 18 PGA tournaments including 11 consecutive, one of the greatest single seasons for any golfer, ever. Nelson may be best remembered for lending his name to the famous Byron Nelson Classic tournament (now known as the AT&T Byron Nelson), but that's not the only thing named for the legend.
State Business Highway 114 through the city of Roanoke is named "Byron Nelson Boulevard" in his honor, a tribute to the town's favorite son, who is also buried here. While Byron Nelson Boulevard is home to many of Roanoke's commercial and service businesses, its cross-street Oak Street is the hub of retail and community establishments.
Oak Street's newly-developed Old Town District includes a myriad of shops, cafes, bakeries and so many independent restaurants that the strip has become known as the "Unique Dining Capital of Texas". Nearby residents can also enjoy the Hawaiian Falls Roanoke waterpark and Roanoke Skatepark, as well as the “Evenings on Oak Street" summer concert series.
At just 9,000 residents, Roanoke is one of the Metroplex' smallest cities, but its proximity to Fort Worth and Dallas has increased rents for commuters. An average one-bedroom unit rents for $1,199 monthly, a jump of 19.74 percent in the last year.
Texas is oil country. But in Baytown, it's the entire reason the city exists. Sitting at the north end of Galveston Bay close to infrastructure and transportation were the three oil-based economies of Goose Creek, Pelly and East Baytown. Shortly after World War II, the oil boomtowns decided to consolidate their power, and thus the city of Baytown was created.
Still today, Baytown is dominated by the oil industry, with three giant industrial districts on the edge of town for oil and petrochemical processing. Refinery complexes dominate the Baytown landscape, with Covestro out east of town, Chevron Phillips up north and the ExxonMobil Complex on the west, in addition to the large Jindal Steel mill south of town next to the massive Cedar Port Industrial Park, the fifth-largest industrial complex in the world.
One might get the impression that Baytown is one long series of oil tanks and distillation buildings, but all that manufacturing requires a large population of workers and support personnel and the recreation facilities to spend off-hours. Oil workers and commuters to Houston alike can enjoy Baytown attractions, including the Baytown Little Theater, a performing arts center and art gallery as part of the Downtown Arts District, the Baytown Nature Center along the Houston Ship Channel and Houston Raceway, home to the NHRA SpringNationals drag racing event.
As the oil industry continues to flourish and adapt in the face of climate change, the megacompanies continue to grow along with demand for housing. In the last year, rental rates have skyrocketed 23.57 percent for a one-bedroom, to an average monthly price of $1,035.
The East Texas city of Longview is unique among the top 10 cities on our list, as it's not a suburb of Dallas, Austin or Houston, or any city for that matter. Located mostly isolated along Interstate 20 by the Louisiana border, Longview sits about halfway between the slightly larger cities of Tyler and Shreveport.
But since its early days as a hub for Southern Pacific Railroad, the town has never stopped growing. Having doubled its population since the mid-1960s, Longview was still named the sixth “fastest-growing small city in the United States" by Forbes in 2014.
A strong economy built on oil pipelines, technology, chemical production and patent proofing, Longview has become a booming city for all demographics, having been christened a “Certified Retirement Community" as well as a “Top 100 Best Cities for Young People."
Several cultural attractions dot downtown Longview, including the Museum of Fine Arts, the World of Wonders and the ArtsView Children's Theaters. A thriving shopping district runs through downtown Longview, as well, with a quaint selection of cafes, brewpubs, boutiques and of course western wear stores.
Green space abounds, with the large Paul Boorman Trail Park, Teague Park and lake and Lear Park, in addition to Pinecrest Country Club and Oak Forest golf course. On the north end of town, Longview Mall and several large shopping centers and big box stores line Texas Highway 281, along with hotels, rest stops and chain eateries straddling I-20 at the southern tip.
The economy in Longview is strong, by all reports. The growing region of Tyler-Longview-Lufkin is self-sufficient and growing into a major Texas hub. While rents are still reasonable with a one-bedroom apartment listed for just $862, no city in the Lone Star State has seen a greater increase in the last year with rents up a whopping 41.14 percent.
While these 10 cities had the largest rent increase by percentage, they are the only places in Texas where it's getting more expensive to live.
From the border to the 'burbs, these 50 cities have all seen rent jump by more than 3 percent from one year ago.
|Rank||City||State||Average 1-BR Rent||YoY Change|
|33||North Richland Hills||TX||$967.80||6.13%|
Looking for a bargain? Here at the very bottom of our list, you'll find 35 cities in Texas where rent prices are actually going down. Some might surprise you.
|Rank||City||State||Average 1-BR Rent||YoY Change|
To create this list, we calculated rental pricing for an average one-bedroom unit from 102 cities in Texas with sufficient available inventory on ApartmentGuide.com and Rent.com and ranked each to determine which had the highest percentage increase from July 2018 to July 2019.
The current rent information included in this article is based on rates as of July 1, 2019, for multifamily rental property inventory on ApartmentGuide.com and Rent.com and is for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein does not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.
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