Multi-Family: The Hottest Trend in Texas

Mar 2, 2021 | Dallas, Zoning

Texas has four of the top 1cities with the most multi-family units completed in 2020.  

Apartment development has exploded across the state of Texas. Dallas-Fort Worth is leading the nation, only behind New York, in number of newly built communities with a whopping 18,800 units added in 2020, according to the US Multi-family Q4 2020 report by CBRE. More than any other state, Texas has four of the top 15 cities for multi-family units completed. Dallas-Fort Worth is joined by Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.  

Permitting and zoning companies are seen as a leading indicator by large institutions, such as the Federal Reserve. Even in the midst of a pandemic, Masterplan, a Dallas-based zoning changes and permit expediter, has seen a steady stream of apartment units moving forward across the state of Texas. Developers in Texas continue to see the value in multi-family beyond COVID-19 as 64,115 permits for five units or more were filed in 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau  

This onslaught began in the Urban Core of Dallas following the end of the Great Recession in June 2009. Masterplan capitalized on the first wave of the trend when some developers, like Wood Partners, started projects during the Recession. Since then, North Texas has remained largely resilient 

This most recent boom is another example. Dallas-Fort Worth leads the nation in apartment starts and completions.  “Complaints from those outside the profession and especially from homeowners now looks unfounded,” Masterplan CEO, Dallas Cothrum noted.  “Rents may have fallen slightly, but leasing is happening and we are starting many projects throughout the state.”  

Occupancy across the state remains around 90% with Dallas occupancy rates nearing 92%.  The average apartment rent in north Texas is $1,249, remaining steady from previous years.  There are currently more than 30,000 units under construction.  “While absorption is taking slightly longer, it is happening and our developer clients remain bullish,” Cothrum said. 

Texas continues to see rapid growth from other states, like California and New York.  The “Texas Miracle” continues with developers completing more than 7,000 units in the fourth quarter.  Masterplan President, Karl Crawley, said, “It looks like there will be more than 20,000 units this year and we are off to a strong start on projects that might start late in 2021 or 2022.”   

Development of multi-family is occurring across all sectors and price points. No stranger to multi-family services, Mr. Crawley was recently named President of the Rowlett Housing Finance Corporation. “As a volunteer I like to be able to put my professional expertise to use in helping solve the housing shortage we have across North Texas. We need to ensure there is plenty of affordable housing solution for essential workers.  I’m hopeful we can continue to do more great projects, so people can live in Rowlett where I’ve raised my family.” 

Masterplan is working for numerous multi-family clients throughout Texas, including Woodmont, Lennar, Oden Hughes, Provident Realty Advisors, Hanover, Volunteers of American, Covenant Funding, Shelter Communities, Palladium, Awan Capital, JPI, Banner Development, Integrated Development, Housing Trust Group, and Toll Brothers.  Masterplan has entitled thousands of apartment units in more than 30 jurisdictions across Texas. The firm has history doing the earliest projects in Uptown in the 1980s and the boom along the Dallas North Tollway in the 1990s.  


About Masterplan 

Masterplan is a privately held business headquartered in Dallas, TX that specializes in assisting businesses, individuals, utilities, and government agencies regarding all matters of land use. The firm is celebrating its 40th year in business in 2021. Masterplan specializes in zoning changes with locations in Dallas, TX; Houston, TX; Frisco, TX; and Austin, TX. We routinely handle Planned Development Districts, Conditional Use Permits, Special Use Permits, and all zoning matters. Likewise, we assist in expediting building permits across the state of Texas as well as assist with building code issues. Let our experience be your success. Masterplan’s related company, LaBarba Permit Service (, was founded in 1965 and specializes in obtaining approvals from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC).