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