South Florida by the numbers: Rental health day

South Florida by the Numbers: Rental Health Day

“South Florida by the numbers” is a web feature that catalogs the most notable, quirky and surprising real estate statistics.

Attitudes on South Florida’s scintillating rental market vary wildly, depending on perspective. For local unit owners and investors, the sector remains insanely profitable (even if somewhat cooler than last year), while struggling renters are among the most cost-burdened and competitive in the entire country. Forward-thinking developers have bet big on luxury rental condos where investors can earn passive income by actively marketing and renting their units out for short-term stays. We examine the interplay between these powerful forces in this edition of “South Florida by the numbers.”

35 percent

Percentage of Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach and Miami renters considered “severely” cost burdened, according to a January study by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. When combined with the 61.9 percent of local renters who are (“merely”) cost burdened, South Florida becomes one of the most expensive places to live in the country. Local renters’ median household income is $50,000 (with monthly rental housing costs at nearly $1,700), well above traditionally expensive places to live such as Honolulu, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and New York City. [SunSentinel]


Miami-Dade County’s ranking among the 20 most competitive rental markets in the first months of 2024, according to RentCafe’s Rental Competitivity Index. An average of 14 renters compete for an average apartment in Miami, down from the 20 recorded last year, but still three more than the next closest market. The lease renewal rates hit 73.4 percent, while local apartments stood vacant for an average of 36 days, both stats earning #1 rankings for the county. [MultihousingNews]

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43 percent

Increase in effective South Florida rents since February 2020, and one element of the greatest disparity in rent growth percentage between key apartment markets since the pandemic, according to RealPage Analytics. While South Florida apartment growth is climbing — performing better than in any area of the country — the opposite is the case for the Bay Area in Northern California, where population loss and a still recovering jobs market have caused apartment rents to stagnate during that same period. San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland have seen rents all but flatline (and even decline in San Francisco), while Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach take the #2 and #3 spots in this national ranking, and Tampa (42.5 percent), Jacksonville (32.3 percent), and Orlando (31.9 percent) all reported cumulative price hikes well above the national norm over the last four years. [GlobeSt]

$31.2 million

Price paid by Harvey Hernandez’s Newgard Development Group in December 2023 for the 1-acre site near Fort Lauderdale’s Brightline station, where the new Natiivo Fort Lauderdale condominium project will be built. Natiivo will have 384 fully-furnished units specifically designed and developed for short-term rentals, following Newgard’s Natiivo Miami and Natiivo Austin projects, as well as local condo projects from PMG, Lion Development Group, Fortune International, Marc Roberts Companies and others. [TheRealDeal]

26 million

Number of Americans considered “credit invisible” because their rent payments (even when paid on time) go unreported by the credit bureaus. But a new tool offered by Zillow would remedy this by allowing participants to report their rent payment history to the bureaus, potentially improving their credit scores and their ability to secure mortgages. [MiamiHerald]

This column is produced by the Master Brokers Forum, a network of South Florida’s elite real estate professionals where membership is by invitation only and based on outstanding production, as well as ethical and professional behavior.