Block Real Estate Services sums it up nicely: The Kansas City multifamily market has battled its way through the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s true that this market — a strong one — did suffer from the pandemic. That’s expected. But what’s impressive, and what’s detailed in Block’s 2021 Market Report, is that the apartment sector remained strong despite the challenges brought on by COVID-19.
Thanks largely to the impact of the pandemic, the overall vacancy rate in the Kansas City-area multifamily market rose to 8.2 percent by the end of last year. But, that increase happened in a market in which developers delivered 5,922 new multifamily units.
Even during a difficult year, the market absorbed 4,081 units in 2020 and saw average asking rents jump by 1 percent.
Block reports, though, that the biggest change in the market centered on sales volume or, as the company says, the lack of it. Heading into the end of the 2020 calendar year, the Kansas City-area apartment market saw roughly $560 million in sales. That is close to just half of the volume tracked in 2019.
Block reported that 4,900 additional apartment units are under construction and set to be delivered before the end of 2021. The combination of this and the continuing economic impacts of the pandemic leads Block to predict that apartment sales will continue along their current trend while asking rents will flatline or even decline in certain submarkets.