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Jefferson City’s median rent increases well below national rates

by Cameron Gerber | May 15, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.
The Old West End School, now the Schoolhouse Apartments, located at 1107 W. Main St. is a Jefferson City Landmark.

While rent prices are increasing across much of the country, Missouri's median rent increase was below the national rate by around $100, according to a new report.

The study, released this week by real estate asset management platform Stessa, found the Jefferson City metropolitan area saw an 8 percent increase in median rent from 2019-22, with a $62 median increase over the past three years to $838. The U.S. as a whole, meanwhile, has seen a $161 increase over the past three years, a 12.5 percent jump that puts the national median at $1,445.

The Jefferson City area ranked 236 out of 385 U.S. metro areas, sorted by the breadth of the median rental price change for each area.

It was the 137th ranked small metro and the highest among other Missouri small metros -- areas with populations of 100,000-349,999 -- with Columbia ranking 151 with a 7.3 percent increase, St. Joseph coming in at No. 171 with a 5.9 percent increase and Joplin hitting 198th with a 4.4 percent increase.

Springfield, meanwhile, saw a 6.1 percent median increase, while St. Louis' median increased by 2.9 percent and Kansas City's rose by 9 percent. These metros were ranked 282, 348 and 205 among all other metros, respectively.

Missouri as a whole, meanwhile, ranked relatively low among other states at 40. The state reportedly saw a 5.6 percent median rent increase, raising prices by $52 to $974.

The highest ranked state was Nevada, which saw a median rent of $1,486 this year, a 26 percent and $307 increase from 2019. Bottom-ranked Alaska, meanwhile, saw a 3 percent decrease in median rent, settling at $1,483.

The report, compiled using data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, found a general increase across rentals of all sizes over the course of the past three years and the economic uncertainty spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Amid a historic run of inflation over the last year, the cost of housing -- especially rent -- has been one of the most significant pressures on household finances," the authors of the report wrote. "The current state of the rental market is a product of both supply and demand, with issues compiling over time and being exacerbated since the pandemic began."

The U.S. is short an estimated 4 million housing units, according to data from Freddie Mac, with zoning and other restrictions impeding the ability for additional rental and owned housing across the country over the years. An increased emphasis on more luxury accommodations has also reduced the number of rentals available for lower income renters, causing prices to increase alongside demand -- the report says 70 percent of rental market growth since 2009 has come from higher-income renters, the report states.

The economic impact of the pandemic put home ownership further out of reach for many, while supply chain issues have delayed construction projects as well. And while landlords and renters worked together through the first year of the pandemic to manage the situation and state assistance and eviction moratoriums lowered rent increases to around 1 percent, data from Zillow shows a 17 percent increase in rental costs from 2021-22 -- a massive spike compared to the 3-5 percent increases that had been standard for the previous decade.

Renters in many markets are seeing increases of 20 percent or higher as they sign new leases, the survey states, while the national vacancy rate of 5.6 percent leaves them with few alternatives.

Smaller increases were more prevalent in lower portions of the country, the authors found, while Alaska was the only state to see an overall decrease. The greatest increases were found in the western part of the U.S. that have also seen high population growth over the past several years, while larger metros were also found to be more prone to higher rent increases.

Print Headline: JC’s median rent increases well below national rates

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