Kansas City Metro Area Rentals Trending Up

The good news, if you’re a renter in Kansas City (and perhaps, less-than-good news if you’re a landlord): This metro area ranks No. 6 nationwide in terms of rental ability, according to a Census data analysis by the online real-estate specialists at Zillow.com.

The flip side of that for renters is that, from the 2006-2016 decade that produced the data, this region was No. 18 nationwide in growth of renters as a percentage of the housing market. Whereas renters accounted for barely two in five households in 2006, they represented 47 percent of that market by 2016.

A great deal has changed in housing metrics since the end of 2016, and what the data don’t show—yet—is the huge backlog in demand for starter homes among former renters as the first wave of Millennials, now in their mid-30s, reaches prime child-rearing age.

According to the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors, the supply of homes on hand in July was heavily tilted in favor of sellers. The region had enough available homes for sale to meet just 2.5 months’ demand, far below the 6 percent threshold that’s historically been viewed as a balance between buyers and sellers.

On the affordability front, the Zillow analysis said average rents in the Kansas City metro area were $1,278, accounting for 24.0 percent share of median household income going to housing. St. Louis was No. 2 on that list, at $1,150 average rent and 22.2 percent share of income to cover it.

The least affordable? Los Angeles, where an average rental payment of $2,759 consumes 47.6 percent of the median income. Up the coast in California, San Jose and San Francisco posted the highest average rents, at $3,529 a month and $3,429, respectively.

New York, at 68 percent, and Boston, at 65 percent, boasted the highest proportion of renters among U.S. metro areas.

You can read more about their findings here.