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Fort Worth apartment rents rose 3.3 percent in first quarter

Rents for Fort Worth-area apartments rose 3.3 percent in the first quarter as strong demand for units in Dallas-Fort Worth made it the hottest apartment market in the country, according to a report from MPF Research released Wednesday.

Rents throughout Dallas-Fort Worth jumped 3.7 percent for the January-March period compared with the first quarter of 2013, when rents rose 2.3 percent, the report said.

Rents are averaging $783 a month in Fort Worth and $864 in Dallas. Apartment occupancy rates in Fort Worth reached 93.4 percent in the quarter and 94.1 percent in Dallas.

Apartment construction has picked up in the last year. Currently, 26,971 apartments are under construction in Dallas-Fort Worth, and of those, 17,855 are expected to be completed in the next year, the report said.

In the first quarter, 3,692 apartments were completed, and of those, 569 units were leased.

“A year ago, we saw a clear trend, rent growth levels slowing as apartment construction sped up,” said Jay Parson, MPF’s director of analytics and forecasts. “But the strong demand numbers have convinced apartment operators that the market can support some additional rent growth.”

Demand for apartments locally is being driven by job growth, the report said.