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Floridians Spend More Than 30 Percent of Income on Rent Alone, Study Says

Back in October, Apartment List put out a study on rent-cost-burdened cities and, turns out, Fort Lauderdale is among the most burdened in the United States. And now a new study shows that the entire state is in dire straits when it comes to rental affordability. 

The recent analysis via census data by the website shows that 58 percent of Florida renters were cost-burdened last year. This means Floridians spent more than 30 percent of their income on just rent.

Rent costs are skyrocketing throughout many cities nationwide, but South Florida seems to have taken the biggest hit, according to Apartment List's Andrew Woo. 

"At the bottom of the table were Miami, Detroit, and Los Angeles," Woo says. "Each of these cities have more than 60 percent of their renters facing cost burdens, and Miami has an incredible 37 percent of renters paying at least half their income in rent."

Miami, the study shows, is the least affordable large city in Florida, followed by Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, and St. Petersburg. 

Fort Lauderdale, a smaller city, is right up there with the big boys.

More than 60 percent of Fort Lauderdale's renters were cost-burdened, which is up from 2007, when it was at 56.1 percent, according to the census data compiled by Apartment List. 

Overall, the share of cost-burdened renters in Florida is up 1.5 percent from 2007 but down a bit from its peak in 2011. Florida has more than 2.5 million renters, and 1.4 million of them are cost-burdened. 

In November, a Marcus & Millichap Apartment Research Market report revealed that rent in Broward rose 2.5 percent during the third quarter of 2015, bringing the average cost of rent in Broward to $1,405. In 2015, overall rent has risen 8.2 percent, topping the 5.2 percent rise in the year prior.

That report also showed that one-bedroom apartments in Broward saw the biggest price hike, up to an average of $1,221 per month — a 3.2 percent increase. And there are no signs that this is slowing down.

Last year, the National Low Income Housing Coalition calculated "fair market rent" figures nationally and determined that a person would have to make at least $19.08 an hour in a full-time job to make rent in a one-bedroom apartment in Broward County. That study says it's more expensive to live in Broward County than in Miami-Dade or Palm Beach.

The reason for the high prices may come down to Broward's having newer properties, which come with higher maintenance fees, Alex Perez, an 11-year broker based out of Miami-Dade, tells New Times.

"Broward County's newer properties carry high maintenance fees," he says. "And that tends to affect everything else."

But Florida, as a whole, is hella expensive to live in, according to these studies.

The Apartment List study shows that, as of 2014, 52 percent of renters in the United States were cost-burdened but that the burdens varies from state to state.

Florida, it turns out, came up with the worst scores. Florida — along with Hawaii and California —  has cost-burden rates of 57 percent or higher. Thirty percent of renters in these states spend more than half their income on rent. 
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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph

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