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Missouri leads the nation in rent increases since last year. Kansas isn’t far behind

The cost of living is on the rise, due in no small part to rent increases across the country. But a new report by the rental site Rent.com shows that some states are feeling the burden of these increases more than others — and Missouri and Kansas have some of the highest in the country.

Between January 2023 and January 2024, Missouri’s median rent rose by more than 13% — the highest increase of any state in the nation. Kansas’ median rent rose by nearly 9%, the sixth-highest increase.

According to the site’s aggregation of all rental types, the median rent in Missouri is now $1,209 per month, while Kansas’ is $1,218 per month. The site calculated state median rents by aggregating the median rents in each state’s cities.

The data also tracked year-over-year median rent increases by metro area. Kansas City came in seventh place out of the 50 largest metro areas in the country, with an increase of 7.4% since last January. The median rent in the metro is now $1,644 per month.

The graph below shows how the median rent in Missouri, Kansas and Kansas City have compared to the national median rent over the past six months.

Hover over a point on the graph to see the median monthly rent for a unit in each location.

Housing affordability groups like the citywide renters’ union KC Tenants have pushed legislation at the city level in recent months intended to mitigate the impacts of rising housing costs.

Just last month, City Council passed a ban on source of income discrimination, which proponents hope will make more housing available to low-income tenants with federal Section 8 housing vouchers.

In 2022, voters approved a bond initiative that funneled $50 million to the city’s housing trust to fund affordable housing at around 30% of the area mean income. This benchmark is intended to set rents on these affordable units at around $550-$750 per month.

Do you have more questions about housing affordability in Kansas City? Ask the Service Journalism team at kcq@kcstar.com.