FAU study: Average renter in Miami needs $100,000 salary

Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 8:37 AM EDT
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The cost of housing isn’t getting any cheaper in many parts of the country.

The average renter in 11 U.S. markets must make a six-figure annual salary to avoid being classified as rent-burdened, according to a new report released Tuesday from researchers at Florida Atlantic University and two other schools.

At the end of April, the study said the largest salary needed to dodge the rent-burdened label was $131,563 in San Jose, California.

The average renter also needed to make at least $100,000 a year in New York, Miami, San Francisco, San Diego, Oxnard, California, Boston, Los Angeles, Bridgeport, Connecticut, Honolulu and Riverside, California.

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Researchers said the Sunshine State continues to dominate the list of most overpriced markets in the country with Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Miami, North Port-Bradenton and Deltona all ranked in the Top 10.

Consumers who are considered rent-burdened spend 30% or more of their incomes on rent and therefore struggle to pay for other necessities, such as food and medication. Those who spend 50% or more are severely rent-burdened.

"Not a lot of people make that kind of money," Ken H. Johnson, an economist in FAU's College of Business. "This data illustrates perfectly what we've been saying about an ongoing housing affordability crisis. Rents aren't coming down significantly, if at all, so until incomes increase sharply, consumers in much of the country will continue to do without basic needs."

Researcher Shelton Weeks of Florida Gulf Coast University said it's essential to build more rentals to keep pace with demographic shifts across the country.

"But until then," he said, "the rent crisis will be most persistent in the Sun Belt states as they gain significantly in population."

So, where in the U.S. does the cost of housing remain low?

The study found that the least rent-burdened market is Wichita, Kansas, where the average renter needs to make just less than $40,000. McAllen, Texas is the next least rent-burdened area, requiring an annual salary of less than $48,000.

Click here for the full rankings.

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