by John Hill

In April 2016, rents rose in each zip code in Abilene.  Compared to the March, rent rose 3¢ to 77¢ per square foot, adding $45 to rent to the average, 1504 square foot rental.  This gain marks a 3.2% increase in rent over the twelve-month average and a 6.2% gain over rent/square foot in April 2015. 

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

Town-wide, average rents increased $86 per month. The greatest gain in rent per square foot was seen in 79605 with a 9¢/square foot bump in rent followed by 79601 with a 6¢/square foot increase in rent.  79606 registered the smallest gain in rent/square foot of 1¢/square foot, but this zip code has experienced steady gains in rent/square foot over the last seven months.  Between AISD and WISD, AISD experienced a gain in rent while WISD rents per square foot remained flat. 

Compared to the 12-month average, April 2016 rentals in Wylie ISD were 2 years newer.  This is somewhat counterintuitive when coupled with April’s rent per square foot for a WISD rental.  One would expect that newer homes would rent for more, but WISD rentals experienced flat rents at 90¢/square foot when compared to last month.  In contrast, the average age for an AISD rental held steady at 55 years, but rented for 3¢/square foot more. 

25% of the homes leased in April permitted pets, 8 points below the 12-month average of 33%. Pet deposits averaged $279 or $22 more than pet deposits collected in April 2015, leading one to conclude that landlords sought to protect their rentals against pet damage by banning pets and charging more in deposits.  As another proxy for quality of rentals, security deposits in April 2016 were up $57 from the previous month and $76 above the 12-month average of $922.  On a square foot basis, April’s security deposits measured  61¢ per square foot. 

April 2016 rentals spent 5 more days on the market than the 12-month average and were up 15 days when compared to April 2015.  There was no difference between days on market and school district with WISD and AISD rentals spending 34 days on the market between tenants. Homes in 79605 fared marginally best, with the 20 homes in this zip code being leased in 28 days.

According to NTREIS, 76 single-family homes were leased in April 2016. These units leased at, on average, 77¢/square foot and were sized at 1,504 square feet.  Consequently, these leases are estimated to deliver a April 2016 value of $88,219 to the Abilene economy.  Considering the coming 12 months and the leases executed during April 2015, these leases potentially account for an $1,058,631 annual contribution to Abilene’s economy.