Driven by In-Migration, Dallas-Fort Worth Population Growth Tops the Nation

In Industry News by Bradford

Demographic Trends Boosting Commercial Real Estate in the Metroplex

By David Kahn

June 15, 2018

Dallas-Fort Worth has added about 1.1 million new residents since 2010, about the same number as Houston. While the rate of population growth on a percentage basis is higher in smaller metros like Austin or San Antonio, nominal growth rates in D-FW and Houston far outpace any other metropolitan area nationwide. In fact, the amount of new residents in D-FW and Houston since 2010 is roughly equal to the Austin region’s entire population.

In terms of what is driving D-FW’s population growth, it’s about a 50/50 split between natural population growth (the net of births and deaths) and immigration, and in-migration from other areas of the United States. Contrast that with the Los Angeles metro, where overall population growth is positive, but net-migration has been negative since 2010. Slicing it further, net migration to both D-FW and Houston this cycle has outpaced the overall population growth in every other metro except Washington D.C. and Atlanta.

The most recent numbers are excellent for Dallas-Fort Worth. According to the U.S. Census, D-FW added 146,000 new residents in 2017, topping second place Houston by more than 50,000 people. More importantly, the most recent job numbers were incredible, with nominal job growth of about 125,000 year-over-year, as of March 2018. This marks an acceleration in job growth compared to previous months. Dallas-Fort Worth was already the strongest job market in the country: now it’s even stronger.

The combination of outstanding population growth, in-migration and job growth creates a virtuous cycle for the metro’s economy, and helps drive demand for commercial real estate. Strong population growth, job growth and in-migration should continue to power the Dallas-Fort Worth commercial real estate industry for years to come.