AUP+D’s Professor Frisch quoted in the Kansas City Star’s “Spiking rents in Kansas City threaten new real estate bubble that’s hardest on the poor” article.
This was nuts. Lisa Miller’s rent was jumping a third this summer, to $600 from $450 — more than she could possibly bear.
What the Kansas City home caregiver didn’t know was that the whole central city has been going nuts. But she was about to find out.
Miller stepped into an alarming rental “bubble” that is rising over the Kansas City metro area, in both apartments and houses.
Rents 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.”
The rising rents strain many household budgets, but they are brutalizing families and individuals earning lower incomes.
Miller figured she would take refuge in the City Union Mission’s women’s and family shelter for the month of July and give herself time to save up a deposit for a new apartment and find a rent she could afford on her $8.82 hourly wage.
The shelter provided her a list of low-cost rental properties so she’d have phone numbers to call. The list was old — from 2014 — and it included some of the rents from that time.
In her notes, she struck a line through the old rents and scribbled the new ones she was hearing over the phone:
A $350 single-bedroom apartment was now $500.
A $350 studio, now $436.
Another $299 single bedroom was now $530.
Miller smirked. “I could’ve found a place in 2014,” she said.
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.