Real Estate News

Renters in South Florida spend too much on housing

A luxury condo rises in Brickell in this file photo from May.
A luxury condo rises in Brickell in this file photo from May. Miami Herald Staff

Renting a home in South Florida will eat away at your wallet.

One in three South Florida renters spend at least half of their income on housing, making them “severely cost-burdened,” according to a study released Thursday.

That makes Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties the least affordable housing market in Florida, which itself is the least affordable state for renters in the U.S., the study found.

Experts generally say you shouldn’t spend more than one-third of your income on housing.

Enterprise Community Partners, a nonprofit based in Maryland that focuses on affordable housing, conducted the study through a campaign it runs called Make Room. It analyzed 2013 data from the U.S. Census.

The region has become one of the nation’s least affordable housing markets as foreign buyers and skyrocketing land prices drive developers to build luxury condos and mansions at the expense of workforce housing.


And the high cost of renting means that many locals can’t save up enough to afford a home.

The median cost of renting in South Florida is about $19,700 per year, according to a report published this spring. That would eat up 40.1 percent of the wages earned by a typical South Floridian. Another study found that it could take a young local worker 12 to 17 years to save up enough for a 20 percent down payment on a home.