South Florida spent $12.3 billion on rent in 2019 — but not because rents are rising

Soaring home prices have kept so many locals from buying that renters in Miami-Dade and Broward paid more rent in 2019 than the gross domestic product of the Bahamas.

According to a new study by Zillow, renters in Miami and Fort Lauderdale spent a whopping $12.3 billion in rent in 2019 — a 54.5 percent increase since 2009, when renters forked over $7.9 billion.

But the record-setting amount isn’t just a reflection of ballooning rents. According to Zillow, the current median rent in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area is $1,876 for apartments of all sizes, up a modest 1.2 percent from December 2018.

Instead, the figure is reflective of the increasing demand for rentals in the face of ever-rising home prices. In October, the median sales price of single-family homes in Miami-Dade jumped 6.8 percent to $365,000 — the 95th consecutive month of increases, according to the Miami Association of Realtors.

In Broward, the median sales price of single-family homes was up 2 percent to $362,000.

Those prices have contributed to a swelling population of renters. According to a recent market study by Florida International University’s Metropolitan Center, Miami-Dade lost 56,584 owner households and gained 95,880 renter households from 2007 to 2017.

“It is tempting for people to say millennials are renting longer because they don’t want commitment and aren’t ready to lay down roots,” said Josh Clark, an economist at Zillow Group who conducted the study.

“But this is really an affordability issue,” he said. “People are getting priced out of traditionally expensive markets and relocating to other cities. Miami is a locus for that. People who want to buy homes are having to move away. Many of those who stay have no choice but rent.”

Source – Miami Herald 

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