Click to Print
. . . . . . .
Monday, June 3,2013

Are Landlords and Investors Calling the Shots in Florida?

South Florida continues to lead the nation with the highest percentage of working families struggling to pay housing costs. The region has had this distinction for four consecutive years, according to a report last week. Investment firms are buying and renting foreclosed homes keeping them out of the hands of traditional buyers ...

Roughly 41 percent of 730,777 lowand moderate-income households across Palm Beach, Broward and Miami -Dade counties are spending more than half of their incomes on housing, the Center for Housing Policy says. Analysts say families should devote no more than 30 percent of their pay to housing costs.

Although unemployment is easing and home prices remain far below peak levels, the robust rental market and a lack of salary growth are keeping housing costs high across the tri-county region.

It´s stretching people´s paychecks quite thin when you´re spending more than 50 percent of your income on housing-you start to have more difficulty affording health care and food.

The report is based on 2011 U.S.

Census data, the most recent available. Contributing to the high housing costs:

• Property owners have taken control of the rental market.

• Former homeowners can´t qualify for mortgages because of poor credit.

• Some would-be buyers either don´t have enough money for down payments or face a shortage of properties for sale.

Landlords know these people have no other options. Who rents a onebedroom Sunrise apartment for $1,025 a month? Some rents are going up by $200 a month.

While developers are planning dozens of new apartment projects, many won´t be available for two or three years. Apartment construction isn´t close to keeping up with the region´s population growth, so there´s no immediate concern about overbuilding. Until we reach a balance with supply and demand of rental properties, we´ll see increasing rental rates. Right now it´s more of a landlord´s market, at least for the foreseeable future.

The housing boom of 2000 to 2005 sent prices soaring. Even though values later plunged, many homeowners who bought during the boom have flat or declining incomes, analysts say.

Compounding the problem:

Investment firms are buying and renting foreclosed homes, keeping them out of the hands of traditional buyers.

The investors likely won´t sell the properties until prices rise, when the homes again will be out of reach for many buyers on a budget. What´s more, Florida lawmakers recently redirected $204 million in local and state money that was earmarked for affordable housing.


  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5