Real Estate News

Mortgage payments breaking the bank? You are not alone

Miami Herald file

South Floridians are spending more of their salaries on mortgage payments than they have in any of the previous six years, according to new data set to be released Thursday by Zillow, a real-estate website.

With home values and mortgages rates on the rise, South Floridians spent an average of 22.1 percent of their monthly income on mortgage payments in 2016. According to Zillow, from 1985 to 2000, before the real-estate boom, South Florida homeowners spent 20 percent of their income on mortgage payments.

Nationwide, Americans spent 15.8 percent of their income on the typical mortgage payment in the fourth quarter of 2016, up from the previous year’s average of 14.7.

The findings confirm an ongoing trend, placing South Florida as one of the country’s most expensive places to buy or rent in comparison to wages. According to the survey, South Florida ranks as the eighth most expensive place to buy, behind New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Philadelphia, Houston and Washington, D.C.

“As mortgage rates rise, buyers will face higher financing costs, and already expensive homes will come with even higher monthly mortgage payments,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell in a news release.

Renters in South Florida are also dishing out more of their salary than they have in the past. The data show that renters spent 42.7 percent of their monthly income on rent in 2016. From 1985 to 2000, the monthly rent only took 28.5 percent of a person’s income.

According to the survey, only in Los Angeles (48.5 percent) and San Francisco (43.8 percent) are residents spending a higher percentage of salary on rent.

“On the rental side, rent appreciation has slowed lately, giving renters’ incomes a chance to catch up as many are already committing a larger share of their income to a monthly rental payment,” Gudell said in the release.

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