As vaccine distribution efforts gradually move forward, Kansas City is preparing for a much-anticipated recovery, contingent on a host of factors including federal financial assistance and an abatement in new coronavirus cases. While the metro’s rental market endured and expansion was consistent through most of 2020, the effects of economic hardship started to manifest at the end of the year and carried over into 2021. Rents were down 0.2 percent to $1,008 on a trailing three-month basis as of January, below the $1,466 U.S. average.
As of December, the unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in Kansas, 5.8 percent in Missouri and 4.9 percent in metro Kansas City. In the 12 months ending In November, the metro lost a combined 44,600 jobs. Recovery is expected to advance at a slow pace, with 1.3 percent of employment growth forecast for 2021, according to the Center for Economic Development and Business Research. On Feb. 11, Gov. Mike Parson signed a bill to provide more than $324 million in federal funding to Missouri renters and landlords.
Kansas City had 7,177 units under construction as of January, 93 percent of which are aimed at high-income renters. The largest share—76 percent—of the pipeline is set to deliver during 2021. Investment sales were off to a strong start in 2021, as two assets traded for $87 million in January.