South Floridians shell out up to 44 percent of their income on rent: report

An aerial view of Miami
An aerial view of Miami

Rising rents have made South Florida one of the country’s most expensive regions to find housing, and a new report shows that trend of unaffordability has grown even worse in recent months.

On average, renters in South Florida could expect to pay as much as 43.8 percent of their annual median incomes of $46,901 for housing during the fourth quarter of 2015, according to the report from Zillow. That’s a big leap from the common advice that rent should only take up about 25 percent to 30 percent of your monthly paycheck.

Miami in particular is seeing a huge disparity between median incomes and rental prices. The report shows Miamians make a median income of $33,006 per year, while median rents are $2,151 — more than 78 percent of a person’s income.

Even Hialeah is riding the wave of unaffordability: median incomes were at $30,160 during the fourth quarter, while median rents reached $1,713 per month, which means renters were paying up to 68 percent of their income on housing.

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Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach are experiencing similar trends: renters in each city can expect to pay 45 percent and 43 percent of their monthly incomes on a home, respectively.

The report shows that homeowners, on the other hand, are in a more affordable situation. South Florida home buyers could expect to pay about 20.7 percent of their incomes on mortgage payments in the fourth quarter — a figure that’s changed only by a fraction of a percent from the pre-bubble years ending in 1999.

But while it might be cheaper to buy a home in the long-run, the report states high rents make it difficult for families to save for a down payment.