The World Series of Housing: Mets and Royals

October 27, 2015 | By

With Major League Baseball’s World Series getting under way tonight at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO, the baseball press is already full of discussion about how the New York Mets’ power pitching will match up with the Kansas City Royals’ solid bullpen and lineup. (This, after librarians in Toronto and Kansas City trolled each other on Twitter during the American League Championship Series.)

While the sports experts scrutinize the matchups, our statisticians at The Home Story crunched the numbers in the real estate markets of the two cities participating in this year’s Fall Classic.

Kansas City is a city of about 500,000 people with strong presences for the performing and visual arts, as well as more than 200 fountains — including the impressive display at Kauffman Stadium.

Queens, where the Mets’ home of Citi Field stands in Flushing Meadows, is the second-largest borough of New York behind Brooklyn. With a population of 2.3 million, Queens would be the fourth-most populous city in the U.S. behind Los Angeles, Chicago, and Brooklyn. Nearly half (48 percent) of Queens residents were born outside the U.S.

Now let’s look at the housing markets for these two cities. (Note: For some statistics, data is available for Queens only; for others, data is only available for all five boroughs of New York.)

Housing Inventory

Both the New York and Kansas City markets saw inventory decline during the early part of 2012 (see Chart One), stabilizing later in 2013 up to the present, with a slight increase in 2015. Inventory in the greater New York area is some eight times greater than the Kansas City area. New York’s inventory increased substantially in the latter part of 2011.

ChartOneTHSworldseries

Existing Single-Family Sales

The greater New York area also saw more than twice as many quarterly sales of existing single-family homes from 2012 to 2015 compared with the Kansas City area (see Chart Two). That noted, the pattern of sales actually tracked each other closely, with a tick upward in the third quarter of 2014, a slight decline across late 2014 and early 2015, and a greater uptick in the second quarter of 2015.

THS_WorldSeriesChart2

Indexed Housing Prices

Housing prices from 1995 through 2015 (see Chart Three) also show some very interesting trends. Looking to the period around the time of the 2008 housing crisis and afterward, price trends between Kansas City and Queens tracked each other closely, reflecting quite a bit of appreciation since the beginning of this particular index in 2005. Up to a point (specifically, the year 2000 and the beginning of the housing boom following the late-1990s tech bubble), price trends in the two areas actually tracked each other closely.

After that point, however, the Queens market shot up significantly (correlated with increasing prices in Manhattan). Now, both markets have seen a slight uptick, but the housing price index for Queens is still more than 50 percent higher than that of Kansas City.

ChartThreeWorldSeries

While it’s not quite the same as checking out the respective teams’ earned run average, batting average, or how well they plate runners, these statistics show that Queens and Kansas City are both winners in terms of price appreciation since the beginning of the century but quite different in terms of inventory and sales.

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A Window Into Housing In America

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