It’s not your imagination: It’s harder to find affordable housing in South Florida than it is in almost any other big city in the country.
In 2015, a person making the median annual income in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach corridor ($49,121) would pay 42.2 percent of their wages every year for a typical 30-year mortgage.
Only people who live in the metro areas around San Francisco (72.0 percent), San Diego (56.9 percent), Los Angeles (50.7) and New York (46.6) spend a greater percentage of their annual paycheck on housing.
Those numbers come from a Realtor.com report released last month on affordability in the country’s 25 biggest housing markets.
The report also found that the median cost of renting in South Florida (nearly $19,700 per year) would eat up 40.1 percent of the local median annual income. Nationwide the rent-to-income ratio was 29.5 percent.
Alayne Unterberger, a researcher on social and economic policy at Florida International University, said that the local housing market prioritizes expensive, luxury housing over more affordable units.
“In South Florida, we face the challenge of being able to attract very wealthy people — both from the U.S. and abroad — who can pay these high rates for housing,” Unterberger said. “That’s who our market is geared for and so the housing that is being built is not affordable.”
The most affordable housing markets in the nation are Detroit, St. Louis, Cleveland, Atlanta and Pittsburgh, according to the Realtor.com report.