Real Estate News

Study: Miami is toughest place to rent in U.S.

An Art Deco apartment building in Little Havana.
An Art Deco apartment building in Little Havana. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Rising rents cut into Miami paychecks like no other city.

Two in three Miami renters pay 30 percent or more of their salaries to their landlords, making them “cost burdened,” according to a new study from real estate website Apartment List. One in three Miami renters pay more than half their income in rent.

No other city had as many cost-burdened renters. The study was based on U.S. Census data for 2014.

Rents in Miami may not be as high as in New York, San Francisco or Boston but lower wages in South Florida put the screws to locals, said Andrew Woo, a data scientist at Apartment List. And skyrocketing prices for homes mean buying is out of reach for many people who live here, trapping them in expensive apartments.


South Florida developers have focused more on building luxury condos for out-of-town buyers than affordable housing for locals because the profit margins are higher.

Other cities that performed poorly were Detroit (where 65 percent of renters are cost burdened), Kansas City (63 percent), Fort Lauderdale (62 percent) and Los Angeles (62 percent).

Apartment List said that 52 percent of renters around the country are cost burdened.

In Miami, the study found that the median renter made $26,500 in 2014 but spent $11,800 per year on rent, about 44 percent of their salary.

Experts generally recommend spending no more than a third of your salary on housing.