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Florida faces ‘prolonged affordability crisis’

by Kianna Warburton

According to a new study released by Florida Atlantic University, the rise in rent costs in Florida appears to have stabilized. However, residents are still facing an affordability crisis due to low housing inventory and a growing population.

The study found that rent growth in most metro areas in Florida has returned to normal, with increases at or below the national average. For example, Orlando experienced the smallest year-over-year increase in rent at 1.10%. Other cities with rent increases included Jacksonville at 1.31%, Lakeland at 2.08%, Palm Bay at 2.33%, Tampa at 2.69%, Miami at 2.83%, Deltona at 2.99%, North Port at 4.02%, and Cape Coral at 6.90%.

On a national level, rent growth for August reached 3.25% year-over-year. However, the study highlights that overall rents remain high in Florida, making it difficult for the typical renter to afford a place to live since incomes have not kept pace.

The researchers measured average yearly increases, monthly increases, and the amount of money the typical household needs to make to avoid paying more than 30% of their income towards rent. The study found that despite rent growth returning to normal, overall rents in Florida are still high, creating a prolonged affordability crisis.

The study also reveals that the typical household in Miami needs a salary of $111,914 to avoid being house-poor, while in North Port, the salary needed is $94,817, Cape Coral $90,916, Tampa $86,659, and Orlando $83,486.

The rapid rise in housing costs has resulted in some Florida residents considering moving to more affordable areas of the country. However, it is unlikely that this will balance out the influx of people coming into the state. Florida’s vibrant and expanding economic base is expected to continue attracting residents, thereby preventing rents from falling significantly.

The researchers emphasize that relief for renters in Florida is unlikely until enough housing is built to meet the intense demand and combat the low supply. They believe that it will take years to address the severe supply shortage and achieve a balance between the number of roofs available for renting and owning.

In conclusion, although rent growth in Florida has stabilized, the affordability crisis remains a pressing issue for residents. Low housing inventory and a growing population continue to inflate rent costs, making it difficult for renters to find affordable housing. Without sufficient new housing development, the affordability crisis is likely to persist for years to come.

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