TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Orange you glad you moved to Florida? The state’s now home to the least affordable places to live in the U.S., according to multiple studies covering rental costs, home prices and income.
Rent.com reported Tampa’s average rent for a one-bedroom apartment was $1,682, up 32.4% since the year before. In St. Petersburg, it’s $1,890 or 19.6% higher than 2021. Orlando? $2,061, up 38.2%. In Jacksonville, rent costs were up 11.2% to $1,401 per month. Miami rent for a one-bedroom was reported at $2,744 per month, up 21.6%.
Two-bedroom rental costs were even higher.
Tampa’s rent was up 41.9%, higher than Miami’s 41.7% increase from the year before. Prices in Tampa are reported at $2,178. Miami costs $3,425 per month for a two-bedroom apartment. Jacksonville was recorded at $1,651, up 15.6%, while Orlando was $2,587, up 30.2% and Hialeah at $2,953, a 35.6% increase.
In comparison, one and two-bedroom apartments have had their rental costs increase by an average of 19% over the past year, nationally. “State to state, rent prices are up nearly across the board compared to this time last year. More than 95 percent of states have seen significant increases in rent prices for both apartment types,” Rent.com reported.
Real estate company Redfin said a third of all U.S. renters can’t afford to buy a home where they live, and 30% can’t save up for a down payment. At the same time, rent has skyrocketed in the Sun Belt, with Florida’s costs a big part of it.
Realtor.com said in February that rental affordability was also way up, particularly in Florida. Four of the top 10 cities with the largest year-over-year rent increases from February 2021 to February 2022 were in Florida. The Tampa metropolitan statistical area was ranked No. 3, with a 32.3% increase from February to February for median rental costs.
Miami ranked No. 1, with a 55.3% increase over the year before, and Orlando ranked second with a 35.4% increase. Jacksonville was eighth with 24.9% higher rent compared to 2021. The study by Realtor.com said the Sun Belt had the “lowest rental affordability” in the U.S.
“In February 2022, 14 of the top 50 metros had a rent share higher than 30% relative to the median household income,” Realtor.com reported. “The least affordable rental market was Miami, Fla., followed by western and Sun Belt metros like Los Angeles, Calif., Riverside, Calif., Tampa, Fla., and San Diego, Calif. In addition, affordability has worsened in each one of the 14 markets as the current rent share of income is higher than this time last year and also higher than the average for 2021 as a whole.”
Those prices are just rent. Home prices have continued to rise, meaning the monthly mortgage payments have, too. Increased mortgage rates from the U.S. Federal Reserve only pile on to those cost increases, pushing an already expensive and shorted housing market into a deeper lack of affordability.
Florida Atlantic University’s Beracha and Johnson Housing Market Index showed home prices in areas like Fort Myers, Lakeland and Tampa all had about 50% higher list prices than what homes were actually worth in March.
Of the nine Florida markets listed in the index, only one had less than a 39% price premium compared to value. That area was the Miami-Fort Lauderdale market, where premiums were at 27.2%, but prices were over $400,000 while values were only at $330,000.
According to FAU, the rising prices are forcing buyers to pay higher premiums, or the amount a market is “overvalued.” In Florida, “both inventory shortages and increases in population will be at far less risk to price declines, but with that comes a prolonged period of unaffordable housing.”
Zillow, another real estate company, said the long-term “months of low inventory” is shown in “robust price appreciation,” or increased prices for homes. Zillow reported Tampa’s growth on home prices was 33.1% from March to March, while monthly, Tampa had the “fastest” growth at 3% price increases from February to March of 2022.
Even with “quickly rising mortgage rate” adding to “affordability challenges that have been brought on by record home value growth,” Zillow said “buyers remain ready to pounce on any inventory that hits the market.”
Overall, Zillow said, “Florida metro areas made a clean sweep on the podium for fastest annual rent growth in March: Miami (32.6%), Tampa (28.1%) and Orlando (24.7%) had the fastest-growing rents of the 50 largest U.S. metros.”
Meanwhile, costs of materials to build new homes, and the space to put them, are in short supply and higher priced. Lack of inventory remains a large challenge to addressing affordability concerns across the U.S., as inflation and supply chain delays continue.
“The dwindling supply of homes for sale has been a proximate cause of the recent explosion in U.S. home values, which have risen by 32% in the past two years,” Zillow reported. The company doesn’t expect inventory issues to fully recover until 2024.