South Florida health care workers, first responders caught in home affordability gap: report

Florida Realtors report outlines gap between the cost to buy a home or rent, and wages

Miami /
Feb.February 14, 2022 11:30 AM
Health Care Workers with South Florida (iStock)

Health Care Workers with South Florida (iStock)

The South Florida housing and rental markets are prospering amid an influx of out-of-state buyers and renters — but much of the local workforce is taking a hit from escalating prices.

Among them are some in the health care and education fields, as well as firefighters, whose wages are lagging the skyrocketing housing costs, according to a newly released Florida Realtors report.

The study examined how much more these workers need to earn to afford buying or renting in several metropolitan areas in Florida, including the southern region, consisting of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Chart via Florida Realtors

The median priced house in South Florida requires roughly $78,000 in annual income, and a one-bedroom apartment calls for roughly $47,000 in annual income, according to the report. The study was premised on homebuyers and renters spending no more than 30 percent of their earnings on housing costs, the federally deemed maximum before a household is considered cost burdened.

Home health care and personal care aides are the most priced out of the 17 occupations examined, as they would need to earn more than three times their median annual salary of $24,030 to purchase a home, and nearly double their salary to rent a one-bedroom unit, according to the report.

Licensed practical and vocational nurses, whose median income is $48,200, also are priced out of homebuying, while registered nurses, whose median income is $70,490, are better positioned, but still fall short, according to the report.

Florida Realtors also examined the gap for first responders, showing EMTs and paramedics’ median annual salary of $32,220 is well below the amount required to purchase or rent a home. Firefighters fare slightly better, but face a roughly $10,000 gap in buying a home. Still, their median salary of $67,830 is more than what is needed to rent a one-bedroom unit, and also is above the $59,000 median annual income needed to rent a two-bedroom apartment, according to the report.

As for teachers, how far off they are from achieving the American dream of homeownership depends on the type of educators. Elementary school teachers earn a median salary of $52,980. Kindergarten and middle school teachers fare slightly better, earning a median salary of $61,670 and $65,970, respectively, according to the report. Special education teachers, who earn in the low $70,000s, are in a better position to buy a home.

South Florida home prices continued their upward trajectory in the fourth quarter of 2021. In mainland Miami near Biscayne Bay, the median single-family house price jumped 17 percent to $560,000, year-over-year, according to Douglas Elliman reports. The median price in Fort Lauderdale rose 12 percent to $572,500; and in West Palm Beach, it climbed 16 percent to $419,000.

In the meantime, rents also have escalated, with Miami posting a 38 percent increase in 2021, the highest nationwide, according to a Zumper report. Much of the squeeze for locals is caused by the influx of newcomers, creating more competition for units. The transplants often are keeping their higher paying out-of-state jobs, and are better positioned to afford the increasing rents.

The Florida Realtors report shows the rest of the state also is faced with skyrocketing housing costs and lagging incomes.

In December, the median sale price of a house in Florida was $373,990, up 21 percent from December 2020, and up 58.2 percent from five years ago. Yet, the report cites Census data showing that median income was $59,227 in 2019, up less than 5 percent from the previous year.

The report was issued as the Florida Legislature is considering the Florida Hometown Hero Housing Program bill. It would provide no-interest loans to help workers on the frontline of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic with down payments and closing costs. The bill targets households whose earnings do not exceed 150 percent of the state or local median income.





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Trippie Redd with 5600 Southwest 136th Avenue (Getty, iStock, Richard Lopez of Lopez Productions, Illustration by Shea Monahan for the Real Deal)
    Rapper Trippie Redd buys Southwest Ranches estate
    Rapper Trippie Redd buys Southwest Ranches estate
    Black Lion Investments' Robert Rivani and the Ritz-Carlton Residences at 4701 North Meridian Avenue in Miami Beach (Ritz-Carlton Residences, Black Lion Investments)
    Black Lion’s den: Robert Rivani pays $8M for waterfront Miami Beach penthouse
    Black Lion’s den: Robert Rivani pays $8M for waterfront Miami Beach penthouse
    The shopping center at 12495 Southwest 88th Street (Frontier Companies)
    Frontier pays $18M for Best Buy-anchored shopping center in Kendall
    Frontier pays $18M for Best Buy-anchored shopping center in Kendall
    Nuveen CEO Jose Minaya and 801 Brickell Avenue in Miami (Nuveen, Colliers)
    Lease roundup: Nuveen moving Southeast HQ to 801 Brickell
    Lease roundup: Nuveen moving Southeast HQ to 801 Brickell
    Emilio and Gloria Estefan with 444 West Rivo Alto Drive (Getty, Redfin)
    Gloria and Emilio Estefan sell waterfront Venetian Islands home
    Gloria and Emilio Estefan sell waterfront Venetian Islands home
    Michele and Kevin Segalla and Ilya Karpov with 320 Hibiscus Drive (LinkedIn, Craig Denis) Miami, Mansions
    Mobile gaming tycoon, investment manager wife pay $29M for Hibiscus Island spec mansion
    Mobile gaming tycoon, investment manager wife pay $29M for Hibiscus Island spec mansion
    Todd Michael Glaser; 1320 North Lake Way and 576 Island Drive (Todd Michael Glaser, Realtor, iStock)
    Todd Glaser, partners flip two waterfront Palm Beach estates for $70M
    Todd Glaser, partners flip two waterfront Palm Beach estates for $70M
    Paul Saunders with 2700 North Ocean Drive (LinkedIn, Redfin)
    Hedge funder Paul Saunders, wife sell Riviera Beach condo
    Hedge funder Paul Saunders, wife sell Riviera Beach condo
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...