New list ranks Overland Park #2 best city for renting in U.S., but affordability remains a concern

WalletHub, a personal finance website, named Overland Park as the second best city for renters in America. Photo credit Nikki Lansford.

Despite persistent concerns over local housing costs, Overland Park comes out looking good in a new ranking of the best and worst cities in which to rent in the U.S.

What’s the news? Personal finance website WalletHub ranked Overland Park the second best city for renters in America in 2022 out of more than 180 markets analyzed for the list.

What went into the rankings: In order to determine the best local rental markets, WalletHub compared 182 cities or markets — including the 150 most populated U.S. cities, plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state.

  • The rankings analyzed each city across two key metrics: “Rental Market & Affordability” and “Quality of Life.”
  • WalletHub found that Overland Park ranked 9th overall for “Rental Market & Affordability” and 12th for “Quality of Life.”
  • In WalletHub’s scoring system, Overland Park received an overall score of 59.58 out of 100.

Digging deeper: Still, residents, voters and elected leaders in Overland Park and across Johnson County continue to voice concerns over the rising cost of housing here.

  • More than a third of renter households in Overland Park are “cost burdened,” according to the Johnson County Community Housing Study released last year.
  • The results of that countywide study showed that 37% of renter households in Overland Park are spending more than 30% of their income on gross rent.
  • The U.S. government considers households spending more than 40% of their income on housing as “cost-burdened,” according to the housing study.
A countywide housing study shows the percent of renter occupied cost burdened households in Overland Park. Cost burdened renters are primarily concentrated along certain pockets of Antioch Road in the northern part of Overland Park as well as the far southern portion of the city.

Average rent Additionally, multi-family housing construction has expanded in Overland Park, and many of those proposed projects are considered “luxury” (which is considered at odds with “affordable” or “attainable” housing options), according to the housing study.

  • The housing study also found that median rents in Overland Park are close to the overall average in Johnson County at $948 per month.
  • Even WalletHub acknowledged that rental affordability across the cities in its ranking system remains an issue.

Key quote: “As vaccination against COVID-19 has allowed states to reopen, rental prices have risen significantly,” said Adam McCann, a financial writer for WalletHub. “During 2021, they grew at almost double the rate of any previous year.”

Rankings: With an overall score of 59.58, Overland Park came in second overall. Here’s the rest of WalletHub’s top 10:

  1. Columbia, Maryland
  2. Overland Park, Kansas
  3. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  4. Bismarck, North Dakota
  5. Lincoln, Nebraska
  6. Chandler, Arizona
  7. Scottsdale, Arizona
  8. Gilbert, Arizona
  9. El Paso, Texas
  10. Casper, Wyoming

Key quote: “Overland Park is a great place to live and work whether you rent or own your home. Our quality of life differentiates us from others: Great safe neighborhoods, a welcoming community, inclusive parks, world class schools and quality jobs all play a role,” said Overland Park Mayor Curt Skoog. “Housing accessibility is a major issue nationwide and something we’ll be looking at in our upcoming Comprehensive Plan update.”

Additional rankings: This is not the first time Overland Park has ended up in a noteworthy position on one of WalletHub’s ranking lists.