A report from the website apartmentlist.com, based on figures from the most recent 2014 U.S. Census, reveals that no other city in the county had as many renters as cost-burdened as those in Miami. Two out of every three renters in Miami are paying a third or more of their salaries to their landlord. Renters who pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing are considered “cost-burdened.”
Of course, rents aren’t necessarily as high as what you might see in Boston or New York or San Francisco. But people here in South Florida are earning much less in terms of salary. Further, home ownership is not an option that is available to many people who live here because home prices have skyrocketed as the housing market stabilizes from the housing crisis. South Florida had been hit particularly hard by the economic downturn, and while the uptick in housing prices has been good for some folks, it has meant others have lost their homes and/or are stuck in high-price rentals.
True, new homes are being built and that should help. But unfortunately, developers are focused on building luxury condominiums, which are primarily marketed to out-of-town buyers. Homes that are more affordable for the local population are much more in demand, but they don’t tend to make developers as much in profits.
On average across the U.S., more than half of all renters were deemed “cost-burdened” by researchers. That’s troubling, but it’s even more alarming that here in Miami, we are 15 percent higher than that national average.
Fort Lauderdale came close, with 62 percent of renters cost-burdened. Other locations included Los Angeles (62 percent), Kansas City (63 percent) and Detroit (65 percent).
Here in Miami, the median salary last year was $26,400. But the average renter paid about $11,800 to the landlord. That’s about 44 percent of their salary. Most economists recommend people spend no more than one-third of their salary on housing. In a market like this, though, there may not be much of a choice. But that means renters are not only cost-burdened but in a category that is “severely cost-burdened,” by research standards.
Nationally, the rate of home ownership is lower than it’s been since the 1960s. Meanwhile, the population of renters has never been higher. Currently, about 43 million people are renting, and the number of those who are cost-burdened has been climbing over the last five decades. Our Miami debt defense lawyers know that when you add rising rental rates – they rose nearly 3.5 percent just last year – it makes for an uncomfortable belt-tightening of the middle class (or what is left of the middle class).
And even though renter incomes have climbed incrementally since 2011, they are still lower than they were back in 2001, once we adjust for inflation. That has meant that while 49.3 percent of renters in the U.S. were cost-burdened in 2011, there are now nearly 54 percent who are cost-burdened. That’s an additional 1.7 million people.
It affects more than a family’s bottom line. Their inability to set aside contingencies for health emergencies, medicine and groceries or to save for a down payment on a home or their retirement ends up impacting society.
If you’re battling debt collection in Miami or the surrounding areas contact Jacobs|Keeley for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (305) 358-7991. Also, don’t miss Miami Foreclosure Attorney Bruce Jacobs on 880AM/the Biz, every Wednesday at 5 p.m. on “Debt Warriors with Bruce Jacobs and Court Keeley,” discussing foreclosure topics that matter to YOU.
Study: Miami is toughest place to rent in U.S., Dec. 16, 2015, The Miami Herald
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Deb Collectors Find New Ways to Circumvent Consumer Protection Laws, Dec. 15, 2015, Miami Debt Defense Lawyer Blog