South Florida housing costs among least affordable

The three counties that comprise South Florida are among the nation’s least affordable housing markets, according to a report by real estate website

The Trulia report accounted for not only home prices but also utility costs and commuting expenses.

Miami-Dade County was the third-least affordable housing market among the 100 largest metropolitan areas, behind San Francisco and Los Angeles, according to Trulia.

Palm Beach County is the 15th least affordable metro area, and Broward is the 31st least affordable.

Trulia measures affordability by analyzing what percentage of a middle-class household’s income would be used to make monthly payments on a mortgage loan financing the purchase of a median priced home.

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For example, Broward home owners use 14.2 percent of their monthly income on commuting and utilities, and the comparable portion for Palm Beach home owners is 12.3 percent.

Deerfield Beach-based housing analyst Jack McCabe told the Sun-Sentinel that housing affordability is becoming a bigger issue: “We’re quickly reaching a point” where a lack of affordability for housing, utility and transportation costs “is going to force lower- and middle-class residents as well as college graduates out of our area to others that offer a better standard of living.”

The University of Miami and Florida International University recently announced a partnership to improve housing affordability.

They formed a joint organization called the South Florida Housing Studies Center to research and to promote affordable housing. [Sun-Sentinel]  Mike Seemuth