This Midwest metropolis, and Think Realty’s home base, is thriving with opportunity.
Having grown up in Kansas City, I can personally attest to the amount of change that’s happened in this city over the last 10 years. There has been an incredible resurgence of energy and innovation throughout our entire metro, and it’s been truly inspiring to witness. Long-term residents like myself have had front-row seats to the transformation of a fairly deserted downtown region to a lively, hip area teeming with construction cranes and new residents flocking to live, work, and play in our city. Locals aren’t the only ones seeing the change. In 2019, National Geographic ranked Kansas City as one of the World’s Most Exciting Destinations to visit this year, alongside New Zealand, Greenland, Mexico City, and Belize.
As a real estate investor in this city, I’m sure you can imagine my elation over these developments. Investment opportunities abound as jobs grow, new residents move in, and demand for rentals increases. By all accounts, we have an excellent combination of factors present in Kansas City to make this an ideal market to invest.
So, what caused the shift, and do we expect it to continue? I attribute the shift that’s taken place in Kansas City to a few major factors, many of which, I believe, will continue to make this city an incredible place to live, work, and invest:
Google Fiber Sparks Tech & Innovation
In 2010, Google launched the first installment of its Gigabit internet, Google Fiber. Cities all over the country bid to be chosen as the first place to receive the fastest internet in the world, and Google chose Kansas City. The national attention and record-breaking speed of Google Fiber internet caused entrepreneurs and their tech startups to flock to Kansas City and set up shops with access to this competitive advantage. Soon, startup accelerators and coworking spaces started popping up all over the city, and Kansas City found itself at the center of a national conversation around tech and innovation. Since then, the focus on entrepreneurship, technology, and innovation hasn’t waned. Startups continue to relocate to Kansas City for its relatively low cost of living, it’s burgeoning startup community, and its proximity to nationally acclaimed entrepreneurial powerhouses like The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Bloch School of Entrepreneurship at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. A recent report released by Cushman and Wakefield confirmed growth in this area by ranking Kansas City in the top 25 U.S. cities for technology.
Diverse Employment Opportunities
In addition to a growing technology and innovation sector, Kansas City benefits from a wide variety of employment opportunities. Not being dependent on any one industry brings together a diverse workforce and steady job growth, which Kansas City reflects in its numerous geographical areas, each with their own flavor. Companies like Garmin, H&R Block, Hallmark, Cerner, Sprint, DST, Black and Veatch, Weststar Energy and JE Dunn are all headquartered throughout the metro.
Quality of Life and A Rising “Hip” Factor
Kansas City’s relatively low cost of living has certainly made it an attractive city for businesses looking to decrease overhead, but it also gives this city’s residents an amazing quality of life. Kansas City residents pay relatively low property taxes and enjoy steady 2.3% appreciation on their properties. We enjoy a moderate climate, fairly low levels of traffic, three world-class sports teams, and a ton of local KC pride.
We have an increasing number of cool areas featuring local breweries, hip coffee shops, live music, and mouth-watering food. It’s not uncommon to head downtown on any weekday night and find people out on patios and rooftops enjoying each other’s company and some amazing food or entertainment.
The Future of the KC Market
I’m not surprised to see Kansas City continue popping up on lists for all sorts of things like “Best City to Own Rental Homes” (Ranked #10 by The Street), “City with Lowest Cost of Living” (Ranked #15 by Niche), “Best City for First Time Home Buyers” (Ranked #13 by Business Insider), and “Best Place to Live for Single Women” (Ranked #2 by Market Wired). The rate of growth and development happening across the metro signals a market worth keeping an eye on, and a place to definitely consider for real estate investments.