Three Florida cities among top 10 worst for renters nationwide

by | Aug 2, 2023

  • Miami is the least affordable city for renters in the U.S., with 53% of households spending at least 35% of their income on rent.
  • Other Florida cities like Orlando and Tampa are also facing rental affordability issues, with 45% and 44% of renters respectively exceeding the recommended income threshold.
  • The lack of affordable housing options and a volatile job market in Miami are causing population migration to other parts of Florida and different states, leading to a decline in the city’s population.

A new look at national apartment rent versus income data sounds yet another alarm on Florida’s rental market, spotlighting Miami as the least affordable city in the U.S. for renters. The study found that 53% of households in Miami dedicate at least 35% of their income to rent. Other Florida cities aren’t far behind: Orlando ranks 6th nationally with 45% of renters paying over the recommended income threshhold, Tampa is 8th with 44%, and a fourth city, though out of the top 10, still ranked among the 30 worst US cities: Jacksonville came in at 27th with 39%.

While the list just came out, it’s been no secret that Miami renters are finding it difficult to make ends meet. The city is seeing its population diminish due to soaring housing costs. Over two years, from 2020 to 2022, Miami-Dade County lost 79,535 residents due to migration to other parts of Florida and different states.

The lack of affordable housing options coupled with a volatile job market is driving people away from South Florida, despite the city’s vibrant business environment. Over the past few years, Miami-Dade County has seen its first population decrease since 1970, a trend which reflects the strain of a 53% increase in housing prices since June 2020, as reported by Zillow.

The issues of population migration and housing costs are directly linked. While Miami-Dade loses residents, the rest of Florida continues to experience population growth and a corresponding increase in housing costs. Between 2021 and 2022, the state saw more people move in than any other. The majority of people leaving Miami are reportedly heading to Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Orlando, and Jacksonville, which offer a slightly lower cost of living and the same attractive climate and job prospects.

The national rent versus income study used a threshold of 35% of income spent on housing to identify cities where renters face the most strain. According to personal finance advice, ideally, no more than 25% to 30% of one’s income should go towards rent. But due to the national housing crunch, many Americans are finding it impossible to meet this guideline. In Tampa, for instance, the report found that 44% of renters spend at least 35% of their income on housing, placing it among the 16 least affordable markets for renters.

The findings of the report underscore the need for action from policymakers, particularly in Florida. With Miami, Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville among the worst cities nationwide for renters, solutions such as affordable housing initiatives, rent control, and increased wages are becoming increasingly vital for the state.

The cities that fared best in terms of rent affordability were Louisville and Columbus, each with only 34% of households spending more than 35% of their income on rent. This may hint at a shift in geographical preference towards the Midwest, where housing is more affordable.

The findings were taken from the 2022 report, “U.S. Apartment Demand Through 2035,” prepared by real estate consulting groups Hoyt Advisory Services and Eigen 10 Advisors. It paints a concerning picture for renters not just in Florida but across the U.S., with the scarcity of affordable rental properties disproportionately affecting lower-income households.


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    • Patricia Moncur

      This is what Ron Desantis (governor) of Florida should be focusing on. Not Gays, Non-unisex Bathrooms & his Configuration of Black Slavery should not be taught in Schools. We need a Cap on Residential & Commercial Leasing. And so you know, I am a Black Republican; that would never vote for him, due to the kind of (Executive Orders) that he is signage to. 🫠

      • Anonymous

        Desantis is Fascist, Racist, homophobic, egotistical man with more ambition than brains! He could care less about Florida or anything but himself.

  3. Ben

    I wish other states would allow individual freedom and protect our kids from ideology so people would stop flocking to florida. The left has went nuts and people want to live a normal life so even now after covid is over people are still coming here in droves.

  4. Wokeup

    What you call “ideology is a figment of your neo confederate imagination and Deefascist way to get ignorant racist morons to support his quest for power

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