By Ken Molestina

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Real estate researchers say a combination of more people moving into North Texas and a high demand for rental properties are contributing factors for what they are forecasting to be a competitive rental market for the rest of 2021.

Dr. Luis Torres, with the Texas A&M Real Estate Research Center, said their data suggests the rental market in Texas, which was once considered to be catastrophic at the start of the pandemic, has now turned around and is looking positive for the rental industry.

“Rents are increasing at a high-rate, occupancy is also at a high rate and surprisingly the levels are even better than pre-COVID levels,” he said.

The turnaround in the market may be good news for those who work in the rental industry, but for those looking to land a rental Dr. Torres said there will be challenges.

“People are expecting to get a lower rent or a bargain, and I don’t think it’s going to be that way,” Dr. Torres said.

Dr. Torres also credits the success of rental assistance programs and stimulus payment for helping renters who couldn’t pay their rent on their own make payments and stay under a roof.

The rest of 2021 according to Dr. Torres is expected to continue to see a tight squeeze on inventory for rental units across the state of Texas and in Dallas-Fort Worth.

“I think occupancy rates should continue to increase, and I think rent grows will increase also,” he said.