Rising KC rents pose threat of real estate bubble, take toll on poor

Rents in the Kansas City metro area have been rising at an accelerated rate over the past year — by double-digit percentages in some poorer ZIP codes — even though household incomes and developers’ costs have remained flat with inflation.

“This is a bubble and it can’t go on forever,” said Kirk McClure, a professor of urban planning at the University of Kansas. “The arithmetic doesn’t work. This is a system that is going to break.”

Data collected by Zillow show that Kansas City area rents in multifamily buildings in 2016 overall are up 5.3 percent from a year ago, compared with a nationwide increase of 3.4 percent.

The rising rents are likely driven by several factors, analysts and developers say, including an increased demand for market-rate apartments closer to the central city and belated growth from when the area lagged behind national growth coming out of the Great Recession.

Read more: Kansas City Star

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