by John Hill

For the first time in 14 months, Abilene rentals leased faster than the same month in the prior year.  November 2016 homes leased in 35 compared to November 2015 rentals that leased in 36 days yielding a tepid 1-day difference.

This overview utilizes NTREIS data on leased properties in Abilene, Texas. This data provides 13 months of data spanning November 2015 to November 2016, 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 2015.

Looking back at historical data tabulated for Abilene since January of 2013, there are 16 comparison periods where homes leased slower than same month in the previous year with 14 of those taking place in the last 14 months.  While December 2016 rentals have stalled this trend with a 1-day gain in diminished leased time, this is a trend to continue to watch.

 Analyzing leasing pace by ZIP code, 79601 fared the best.  Like the town as a whole, there are 16, twelve-month comparison periods since January 2013 where rentals leased slower.  79605 fared the worst with 22 comparison periods where homes leased slower than same month, prior year.

 Between October to November, rent fell 3¢ per sqft in Abilene.  Only 79603 experienced an increase in rent per square foot with a  3¢/sqft gain. 79602 and 79606 continued a two-month decline in rents with a two-month drop of  7¢/sqft for both ZIP codes.  As both these ZIP codes feed Wylie ISD, this two-month drop in rent/sqft manifested in rents for Wylie ISD rentals with a 5¢/sqft drop between October to November.

 On the aggregate, average total November 2016 rents fell $132 from the previous month.  This is driven exclusively a decrease in rent/sqft as November 2016 homes were 17 square feet larger than homes leased in October 2016.  Security deposits, a measure of rental quality, fell $183or 18.3% when compared to the 12-month average.  This discount fits the story told by lower rents as landlords make concessions on both deposits and rental rates to book leases. Pet deposits between October and November were flat at $283 with 6% decline in the number of leased units leased to pet owners.

 According to NTREIS, 90 single-family homes were leased in November 2016. These units leased at, on average, 72₵/square foot and were sized at 1,438 square feet.  Consequently, these leases are estimated to deliver a October 2016 value of $93,128 to the Abilene economy.  Considering the coming 12 months and the leases executed during November 2016, these leases potentially account for a $1,118,189 annual contribution to Abilene’s economy.