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Priced out of Paradise: Neighborhoods where the dollar has muscle
For renters, Miami-Dade is the most expensive city in the U.S. Home buyers have it better, typically paying 22.7 percent of household income on annual housing costs. Two college-educated earners generally can afford a home priced $300,000. These seven neighborhoods have a steady supply. But living them comes with comprises: a commute, schools below the A grade or crime above the national average score of 100.
Residents in six Miami-Dade ZIP codes and two in Fort Lauderdale are paying the highest rents in the state.
According to a nationwide study of 130 metro areas by RENTCafe, the most expensive area in Florida for renters is 33131, which encompasses Brickell and downtown Miami. The average rent there, according to data from September 2018-2019: $2,722 per month, up from 4.6% last year.
But the second most expensive ZIP code in the state wasn’t in Miami-Dade, despite its notoriety as the nation’s most expensive city for renters in comparison to wages. The No. 2 slot went to Fort Lauderdale’s 33301, with an average rent of $2,679. That was down by 0.7% from last year. The area includes Las Olas Isles, home to renters ranging from empty nesters to northeasterners, Californians and international buyers from India, Canada and the United Kingdom.
RENTCafe is a national apartment search website. Its study uses average rents, not the median rents that are used for most other analyses. It encompasses all rentals in the ZIP code without differentiating the size of the rental.
The Miami results did not surprise Mitash Kripalani. “We live between a swamp and an ocean,” said Kripalani, a director of investment services at Colliers International. “You can only build up. More millennials are opting to rent. Employment remains strong. A lot of the new product in the last cycle were condos so your options are pretty limited.”
Brickell’s live-work-play environment — “it’s where the young people want to be” said Kripalani — attracted plenty of renters. South Miami’s proximity to the Metrorail, Coral Gables and the soon-to-come Underline,worked in its favor. And landowners could always find a rental pool among University of Miami students. West Gables would be a good option for “a young family, working in the city,” said Kripalani, “because you can find bigger units.”
For Rose Sklar of the Sklar Team, the growing demand for Fort Lauderdale is a sign of things to come. “I’ve been watching Fort Lauderdale change from more of a spring break crowd in the 1980s to attracting ultra-luxury development like the Ritz Carlton,” said Sklar, an affiliate of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate.
“Everywhere I go there are cranes and they are all rentals,” she said.
No. 3 was Miami-Dade’s 33146, a single-family neighborhood in south Coral Gables, with average rents of $2,486, down 7.6% from 2018. No. 4 was nearby 33134, at $2,312, down 3%. Numbers 5 and 6 were Miami-Dade’s 33130 near Mary Brickell Village ($2,248, up 2.6%) and 33122 in Doral ($2,246 up 3.1%).
Rounding out the Top 10 were 33432 in Boca Raton ($2,242, up 0.7%), 33304 in Fort Lauderdale ($2,233, down 1.3%), Miami’s 33132 (Edgewater and Key Biscayne, $2,219, up 4.7%) and 34236 in Sarasota ($2,207, up 2%).
The same ZIP codes are likely to repeat in next year’s study, said Kripalani, but two new areas may join the ranks. In addition to Wynwood, he said, “In terms of fundamental short-term growth, the City of Doral will come up on the map because they’ve done what the Gables has done, which is they’ve built a city within a city.”