Apartment Guide says average KC one-bed rent skyrockets

The downtown Kansas City, Missouri skyline.

The downtown Kansas City, Missouri skyline.

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Rental rates in Kansas City are skyrocketing, according to one of the country’s leading home hunters.

Apartment Guide’s April 2021 rental report lists Kansas City with the largest rental increase of the 100 largest cities in the country for one bedroom. According to the report, interest rates are up 33.5% since March last year.

Average rental rates are based on March data – a full COVID-19 pandemic year – from the Apartment Guide and Rent.com’s multi-family rental property inventory. Apartment Guide is an essential resource for people looking for apartments.

Two-bedroom apartment prices in Kansas City also rose significantly, up 21.4%, according to the report. This puts Kansas City in 9th place for the biggest gains in the past year. Wichita was just behind, seeing rates rise 21.1%.

According to the study that looked at the 100 largest cities in the US, these are the locations where bedroom rental prices have increased the most over the past year. The averages were based on available units.

  1. Kansas City, MO (+ 33.5%)
  2. Gilbert, AZ (+ 26.0%)
  3. Las Vegas, NV (+ 25.3%)
  4. Riverside, CA (+ 24.9%)
  5. Buffalo, NY (+ 23.3%)
  6. Columbus, OH (+ 22.1%)
  7. Durham, NC (+ 20.0%)
  8. Detroit, MI (+ 18.6%)
  9. New Orleans, LA (+ 18.3%)
  10. Virginia Beach, VA (+ 15.3%)

Here are the cities with the biggest two bedroom rental increases over the past year.

  1. Riverside, CA (+ 56.0%)
  2. North Las Vegas, NV (+ 39.9%)
  3. Buffalo, NY (+ 38.6%)
  4. Detroit, MI (+ 32.5%)
  5. Las Vegas, NV (+ 31.1%)
  6. Gilbert, AZ (+ 30.1%)
  7. Memphis, TN (+ 24.2%)
  8. Hialeah, FL (+ 23.3%)
  9. Kansas City, MO (+ 21.4%)
  10. Wichita, KS (+ 21.1%)

The average rental in Kansas City for one-bedroom apartments is $ 1,435 as of March, according to the Apartment Guide. The average price for two bedrooms is $ 1,774.

Kansas City housing market

Kansas City’s popularity could be partly to blame, said Brian Carberry, executive editor at Apartment Guide.

While he couldn’t speak directly about the Kansas City market, Carberry said that cities like Kansas City, Sacramento, St. Louis and Boise, Idaho are becoming increasingly popular and sought-after renters.

“As such, we see prices rising there due to the very limited supply,” he said. “Landlords have the opportunity to increase prices a little because they know that there is a strong rental market.”

Some of the cities where rental prices have increased also had a large influx of people moving to the area, creating more demand and competition for apartments, he said.

Another reason for the surge in cities is the decline in the stock of affordable housing in the market, he said.

“When these cheaper apartments go off the market, everything else there is going to drive that average up,” Carberry said.

Kansas City rental rates were based on an average of 450 units in the market on the last day of March, which was higher than units available the previous year. The study only looked at homes with an address in Kansas City, Missouri.

“This leads me to believe that another reason for the price increase could be because newer properties are going online or opening in the last year with more luxury or upscale amenities that are priced above the city average,” Carberry said. “We saw similar trends in St. Louis.”

Another factor influencing rental rates could be the real estate market itself.

“The real estate market is just insane,” said Carberry. “When people want a house or have savings, they don’t find it feasible to just do it because of competition.”

That might get some people to rent.

“I’ll say one of the trends we’re seeing across the country is the demand for larger units, and this comes a year after the pandemic started,” he said. “Everyone just wants a little more space.”

Instead of living in one bedroom, people who can afford it are looking for two and three bedroom apartments. Even if that means moving in with a roommate, Carberry said. This could have an impact on two bedroom rental rates in Kansas City.

“You know, working in a kitchen for a year isn’t fun,” he said. “I think a lot of people are tired of it and are looking for more space where they can.”

The inventory contained in the Apartment Guide database is usually mainly concentrated on the larger apartment complexes. It doesn’t contain a house that is rented, Carberry said.

While Kansas City ranked 38th in population, it had the 43rd highest rent for one-bedroom apartments and the 42nd highest rent for two-bedroom apartments. Meanwhile, Wichita, ranked 51st in the population, had the 85th highest rent for one-bedroom apartments and the 92nd highest rent for two-bedroom apartments.

The ranking was influenced by nine cities with no prices for one-bedroom apartments and eight cities with no prices for two-bedroom apartments.

“The pandemic has kind of a loop in what the rental market is doing,” Carberry said. “Some of the cities that we see big declines in will recover and some of the cities that we see big gains should flatten out as early as this summer.”

It could take longer depending on how the economy is doing.

“So these trends are only temporary,” he said.

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Robert A. Cronkleton gets up very early in the morning to bring readers breaking news about crime, transportation and weather at dawn. He has been with The Star since 1987 and now contributes to data reporting and video editing. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Rockhurst College, where he studied communications and computer science.

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