If Amazon’s second headquarters came to Kansas City it would drastically change the city’s housing landscape.
Amazon would become the city’s largest employer with 50,000 new jobs, but experts say it could also have a negative effect on area home prices and rent.
Experts with the website ApartmentList.com, say people could see rent increases double if the online retail giant came to town.
That would mean, if a person’s rent goes up $50 per year, it would now go up $100.
Research expert Sidney Bennett says the problem is Kansas City would have a hard time constructing housing fast enough for Amazon workers.
The number of jobs the company promises to bring in is more than the metro has added over the past decade and that could make finding a place to live a difficult task.
"In Seattle, which is home to the current headquarters, rents have been skyrocketing," Bennett said.
Prices are not expected to go as high as Seattle’s as Kansas City rent prices start lower than many major cities.
According to RentJungle.com, the average rent for an apartment in Seattle is north of $2,100.
Compared to Kansas City, it’s a big difference, coming in at $961.
"It would put Kansas City’s rent growth more on par with national average,” Bennet said. “So, I think that the total rent growth might be, or not sound, as high to people outside of the metro."
Bennett says the silver lining for renters would be the benefits, beyond their monthly rent check.
"I think, in terms of rent, if you’re a renter, it’s not really a good thing but it does benefit to the city, so you can weigh that out,” Bennett said. “Have more tax revenue, build better roads or better schools. If you’re a homeowner, you might be excited but if you’re a renter trying to save up for a down payment it definitely makes it tougher."
If Kansas City wins the bid, those 50,000 would mean salaries around $100,000.
Bennett says if residents get better jobs with better pay it may be an incentive to pay more for housing.
Final bids for the new headquarters are due Thursday.
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