Rise of the renter

Houston booms with more new apartments than almost anywhere else in U.S.

Houston booms with more new apartments than almost anywhere in U.S.

Houston aerial skyline with traffic on the highway
Houston will end this decade with 114,100 new apartments having been built in the last 10 years. Art Wager/Getty Images

You might call this the Decade of the Renter in Houston. New data shows H-Town ranks third in the U.S. for most new apartments from 2010 through 2019.

In a housing review of the 2010s published December 16, apartment website RentCafé estimates Houston will end this decade with 114,100 new apartments having been built during the 10-year span. 

Houston is eclipsed by only two markets: DFW, with an estimated 149,000 new apartments, and New York City, with an estimated 125,100 new apartments added during this decade. In the rankings, Houston is followed by Washington, D.C. (113,300) and Los Angeles (98,000).

Two other Texas metros made the top 20:

  • Austin, claiming the No. 8 spot with 75,400 new apartments.
  • San Antonio, grabbing the No. 13 spot with 47,700 new apartments. 

All told, the four major metro areas in Texas have added 386,200 new apartments from 2010 through 2019, RentCafé data shows. At the same time, their populations have exploded.

From April 2010 to July 2018, the DFW metro area’s population soared by more than 1.1 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Houston nipped on DFW’s heels from 2010 to 2018, adding almost 1.08 million residents, the Census Bureau says.

During the same period, comparatively rapid growth occurred in the Austin metro area (nearly 452,000 new residents) and San Antonio metro area (more than 375,000 new residents).

As Texas’ major metro areas keep experiencing a population surge, the rise of the apartment renter promises to continue.

Data from Richardson-based property management software RealPage shows construction of 22,879 new apartments had been approved from October 2018 to October 2019 in the Houston area. That’s a year-over-year jump of 77.8 percent.

The numbers for DFW (19,562 permits, up 7.3 percent) and Austin (13,981, up 15 percent) were lower, but they still ranked among RealPage’s top 10 metro markets for the number of apartment construction permits issued.

Within U.S. metro areas, the cities of Houston, Austin, and San Antonio ranked among the top 10 places for apartment construction permits issued from October 2018 to October 2019, according to RealPage.