No one lives in a bubble and Council Grove, and Morris County are no exception. The Median Home Value for the region, at the County level shows the growing divide between the metropolitan counties (Geary, Pottawatomie & Riley) and the remaining rural counties.
The Housing environment of a community can serve as one of the area's most attractive elements. Housing has many dimensions from access and affordability, to range of choice and historical character. Below are just a few of the most important indicators.
Age of Structure
The urban-rural disparity can be seen in many aspects of the housing environment, where the urban housing is replaced by newer units, and the rural areas are left with nearly half of their housing stock built prior to WWII.
The Base Realignment And Closure (BRAC) impacts on the region can be seen from the spike and ripple of building permits in the region, just one of many regional, national and global impacts that affect the local housing market.
Such disparities are not simply physical in nature, either, they have lasting impacts on how mobile entire cities are, where those with younger more vibrant economies attract more transient communities.
Our more urban cities are also more crowded, while the persons per room index is also a proxy for a community's range of rental and unit size.
One of the growing national trends is for more multi-family, apartment and non-traditional lifestyles. As America becomes increasingly urban, they are also choosing more walkable communities, which often have a more rentals and smaller units.
Although Morris County has some of the least cost burdened homeowners, over a quarter of homeowners pay unacceptable amounts for housing.
Morris is second only to Chase in the Flint Hills region for most affordable rental costs, yet as with ownership, over a quarter are considered by federal standards to be 'cost burdened.'
Non-Family Household Composition
Age is another growing factor in rural America. Council Grove and Morris County's aging-in-place householders account for nearly half of it's Non-Family Households, compared to less than twenty percent for the Flint Hills.
The aging households are just another of those urban-rural divides, where our most urban are our most young, our most rural are our eldest.
Nearly a quarter of the housing in Chase County are vacant, while Morris accounts for over twenty percent.
Rural America, with Council Grove included, is becoming a growing 'second-home', tourist culture. Chase, Morris and Wabaunsee each have nearly half of their vacant units dedicated to 'seasonal, recreational, or occasional use and have limited rental options.
Person per Household
Where America, and especially rural America continues to age, there is also a continuing trend to more isolated and sparser quarters. Only Pottawatomie County showed an increase in Persond per Household over the past forty years.