August 2014 Abilene Area Rental Data

August brought little change to Abilene rentals. Abilene area rents during August for single-family homes were comparable to the preceding 12-month average, dampening a 3-month gain in rents over the summer. Abilene rent houses sat empty the same amount of time as the prior 12-month average. 

Average August 2014 rent fell slightly to $886 for a negligible .2% decline in average rent when compared to the last 12 months and August rents were 5% below August 2013 rents. Homes leased last month were 3.3% smaller, so when considered on a price/sqft basis, Abilene witnessed a 3.4% increase in per sqft rent to 72¢ per sqft when compared to data from the previous 12 months.

This data utilizes NTREIS data on leased properties in Abilene, Texas. This data provides 13 months of data spanning August 2013 to August 2014, 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 2013.

When considered by zip code, the movement of rents was mixed. East side zip codes 79601 and 79602 saw an increase in price per sqft. The return of students to ACU, HSU and TTUHC, in part, explains the 15.2% increase to 77¢ per sqft for 79601 rents. West side and south side rents all tracked near a 1% decline on a square foot basis.

This is partially explained by age, as homes leased in August were 4 years older than the 12-month average. A rule of thumb developed from a larger sample of rent data reveals that when a house is 1 year older, it loses $4 in rent. This is not readily seen when other factors are in play, but older leased inventory explains why rents remained flat in August.

Overall, August rentals realized a 2.8% drop in days on the market when compared with the preceding 12 months of leasing. When analyzed by zip code, homes in 79601, 79602 and 79605 spent more time on the market when contrasted to the previous 12 months. Homes in 79601 during August saw a 51% increase in time on market as college students returned to Abilene and leased inventory that sat during the summer months. Wylie homes rented twice as fast with families looking to secure a home before the start of school.

Like rents, deposits were flat for the 12-month comparison period. August brought an end to a 4-month streak where security deposits rose. Conventional wisdom may be that large deposits repels customers, but security deposits can be used as a proxy for property quality the landlord wishes to safeguard with a large deposit. This acknowledged, one might assert that the quality of rentals remained unchanged.

According to NTREIS, 84 single family homes were leased August 2014 compared to 122 in August 2013 or a 36.9% decline. This significant drop is not fully attributed to the market, instead NTREIS introduced a new system interface which may have lead to a reluctance by real estate agents to consistently report rental data. With 84 units leased at, on average, 72¢per sqft and sized at 1,268 square feet, these leases are estimated to deliver a August 2014 value of $76,482 to the Abilene economy. Considering the coming 12 months and the leases executed during August 2014, these leases potentially account for a $917,784 annual contribution to Abilene’s economy.

If you have questions about this data, its assembly or interpretation, please contact us. We welcome the opportunity to discuss how this data might be employed to help you make informed choices regarding investment property in Abilene.