Compared to October 2015, the average size, the average rent, average security deposits and the average rent per square foot rose on Abilene rentals.  During this same period, days vacant for all area rentals increased. This is for an inventory of homes, that for last four months, has held steady at an average age of 45 years. 

Days vacant have grown for the past four months from an August low of 21 days to November 2015.  During November, the average home sat vacant for greater than month or 36 days. Individually, homes ranged between leasing on their first day listed to six months after list date with a standard deviation of 36 days.  Of the five Abilene zip codes, only east side homes in 79601 and 79602 saw a drop in the number of days on the market.  

This overview utilizes NTREIS data on leased properties in Abilene, Texas. This data provides 13 months of data spanning November 2014 to November 2015, allowing the user to look across these months at changes in rental prices, days on market and inventory available town wide, both by school district and by zip code. The percentage changes calculated in this table compare the current month’s statistics to an average of the last 12-months and the data from the same month in the 2014. 

Compared to October 2015, pet deposits saw a slight creep in required deposit.  To give perspective to pet deposits, a new statistic has been added to this analysis:  percent of rentals accepting pets.  Over the last three months, roughly a third of units leased allowed pets and required a deposit.  Landlords were more forgiving to pet owners during November with 36% of units leased made available to pet owners.

 In tandem with pet deposits, November security deposits rose compared to slide seen in deposits over the last three months.  This may explain the $70 increase in monthly rent for November rentals;  an increase in security deposits indicates better quality rentals.  Rentals that have more to protect with a high deposit rent for more.  Regardless, deposits and rents still trail the 12-month average for the preceding months. 

When reviewed on a per square foot basis, Abilene rents rose 1¢ over the preceding month.  Based on November 2015 rents, rents fell 2¢ in the Abilene ISD and rose 5¢ in Wylie ISD with a 22¢ margin between both districts.  This 22¢ difference captures the largest divergence in rents for the prior year.

According to NTREIS, 76 single-family homes were leased in November 2015 and they leased at, on average, 73¢/sf and were sized at 1,378 square feet.  Consequently, these leases are estimated to deliver a November 2015 value of $76,451 to the Abilene economy.  Considering the coming 12 months and the leases executed during November 2015, these leases potentially account for a $917,417 annual contribution to Abilene’s economy. 

This article was published in the Abilene Reporter-News on December 12, 2015.