Top

blog

Stories

 

Miami Is the Least Affordable City in America For the Middle-Class, Study Finds

miamicondos.jpg
Not affordable housing

They can be truly hard to find in Miami, always lost between the film crews chasing Kardashian sisters to their next luxury club, the Russian oligarchs loudly racing Brazilian expats in souped up Lotuses, and the parade of art-collecting billionaires snapping up property in Fisher Island.

But Miami does have a middle class! They just don't have an easy time of it. In fact, between housing and transportation costs, Miami is the single toughest place in all the nation to be a middle-class resident, according to a new study.

See also: 

"Increased demand for rental housing combined with insufficient new production has raised rents," says Jeffrey Lubell, executive director of the Center for Housing Policy, "while households with blemished credit and existing homeowners with underwater mortgages have been unable to take advantage of lower home prices."

Lubell's study looked at the combined costs of housing and transportation for the 25 biggest metro areas in the country and found that in general, both had risen by 44 percent since 2000 without a corresponding bump in income.

That trend tends to squeeze the middle class hardest of all, the center says. And nowhere has that been more true than in Miami.

Middle-class households in Dade spend a staggering 72 percent of their income on transportation and housing costs, the study found.

That's the highest share of income in the nation, followed by Riverside, California (69 percent) and Tampa (66 percent.)

What's more, in Miami those costs have jumped by 47 percent since 2000, while incomes have risen only 21 percent.

It doesn't help that Miami not only has an expensive housing and rental market, but that it's tough for most residents to get around without a car, necessitating ever more cash for gas, car payments and repairs.

"Both housing and transportation costs need to be made more affordable," the center's President and Co-Founder Scott Bernstein writes.

The most affordable towns for average income families include D.C., Minneapolis and Boston.

Don't worry, though, Miami families. All you need to do is become famous via an Internet sex tape, star in an endless series of reality television shows, make billions of dollars and -- viola! -- Miami becomes a very easy place to live indeed.

(Check out the full report here. H/T to South Florida Business Journal.)

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.



Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
58 comments
svirto
svirto

I was born in Miami, have lived in several cities in and out of Florida in my 39 years and I have returned... It never is cheap to live in paradise. Still this study is 80% accurate in respect to transportation and fuel, not to mention the insurance rates. We certainly need some sort of properly planned public transportation, better trains with access to the beach key biscayne, all the way down to the keys.

matidumas
matidumas

@Rotulin te agarro hemorragia tuitera, bieeen

blackjkspollock
blackjkspollock

@RobertAPabich I live in #Miami and its true. #Miami just doesn't consist of south beach and million dollars homes.

Alexia Ayars
Alexia Ayars

The article is right! If you go read that report the median income just doesn't match up to cost of housing and transport.

Phil Ramirez
Phil Ramirez

stop comparing CITIES to this DUMP. NYC? LA?! San Francisco?!?! Higher taxes, but salaries are twice as much as here. Transportation runs 24/7, there's no Hialean "Cuban Insurance fraud", people are more educated, etc. Miami?! Unless you're a lawyer, own a hedge fund, a doctor, an athlete, a County/City employee, you're fucked!! You can't live on less, LESS than $12hr. So proportionally, is more expensive than the aforementioned cities, because you don't make as much to afford living here. Besides, is the law to "pretend" to be someone you're not.

Jöse Antonio Müñoz
Jöse Antonio Müñoz

This is probably why so many people only have time for themselves and no one else. Theyre trying to make money.

MiamiBeachNative
MiamiBeachNative

This is why I can't move back to the city that I love. The wages SUCK compared to the cost of living. Here in NYC, I make over $45K a year doing a job that I would only get $10-$12/hour for in Miami (if I was lucky!). I live in Queens (subway gets me to anywhere in Manhattan in 30 mins or less) where I can just afford a 1 bedroom apt. When I left Miami in 2003, I had to work 2 jobs to be able to afford a tiny studio on South Beach (where I was born & raised, so I have no desire to live in suburban sprawl hell like bumfuck Kendall) & a car (car payment/insurance/gas/parking/tickets/mechanic/tires/etc). Until I strike it rich, I guess I'll stay up here with my $104 unlimited monthly transit pass.

MiamiMaltBomb
MiamiMaltBomb

@MiamiNewTimes seems that in this city, everyone is either rich or poor. We live on an upside down bell curve.

James R. Jones
James R. Jones

Imagine what poor people have to do to survive in Miami-Dade.

Jose Antonio Navarro
Jose Antonio Navarro

California and NY is more expensive, but salaries in those state are much higher. Cost of Living is beginning to level out with Cali and NY but the average salary is about 50% less.

AlmonteNathalie
AlmonteNathalie

@LizaWalton @MiamiNewTimes I guess moving after graduation is a bad idea?

jesse_cpa
jesse_cpa

@DSofia21 @miaminewtimes that sound great! What the cost of living in nc? Is it even worth living in redneckville?

Raul Mas Jr.
Raul Mas Jr.

Rents are up due to foreclosures and foreign investments. A car is necessary unless you live near the metrorail and work near the metrorail w/ a Car2Go membership. As a realtor I don't recommend that you spend 70% of your monthly income on housing and transportation, eventually doing so will lead you to a disaster down the road. I recommend somewhere around 30%-40% and I can tell you that you do have the option of adequate middle class housing where you can live near good public transportation options, as I personally live that way but they're in high demand. I do have a car but I avoid driving it as much as I can for several reasons (parking, gas, traffic, etc.) and I kind of like the fact that I can walk or ride bike to places. Not everyone can afford a posh high rise in Brickell or the grove but building up other neighborhoods like the way Mid-Town and Wynwood have been built up can start with you moving back into the "more affordable" areas of Miami and building up these communities again. The middle class is shrinking people, nothing is more evident than looking in your own backyard.

Ariel Ogen
Ariel Ogen

This has been blatantly obvious for years!!! Duh

windmichael21
windmichael21

south florida is perfect for the criminal,corrupt police,corrupt government,close to central america,good for drug and sex slave activities,the new home of russian mafia,who do you think lives in expensive ocean front condos.......

Jason Herrera
Jason Herrera

PLP I left the 305 5 years ago, me vine pa la pinga de el forest aqui and it's way cheaper.

Jose Davila
Jose Davila

This is why I can't move back to the city that I love. The wages SUCK compared to the cost of living. Here in NYC, I make over $45K a year doing a job that I would only get $10-$12/hour for in Miami (if I was lucky!). I live in Queens (subway gets me to anywhere in Manhattan in 30 mins or less) where I can just afford a 1 bedroom apt. When I left Miami in 2003, I had to work 2 jobs to be able to afford a tiny studio on South Beach (where I was born & raised, so I have no desire to live in suburban sprawl hell like bumfuck Kendall) & a car (car payment/insurance/gas/parking/tickets/mechanic/tires/etc). Until I strike it rich, I guess I'll stay up here with my $104 unlimited monthly transit pass.

Seminole51
Seminole51

@LootchSmooch @MiamiNewTimes - DC is one of the most affordable places to live? How high was the person who wrote that article?

AdamK
AdamK

DC is one of the most affordable places to live for middle class???? That is laughable. I moved from South Florida to Northern Virginia 3 1/2 years ago and the cost of living here is much more than FTL/MIA. I pay over 1500 a month for a 1BR/1BA thats 25 miles west of downtown DC. And the closer you get to the city, the higher the prices get. You may make slightly more here (if you have a Gov't job you do alright), but not enough more that it doesnt make things like paying your bills tight every month. Give me the cost of living in SFL anyday compared to the I-95 corridor....

Denette Dixon
Denette Dixon

DING DING DING.... Then DONT MOVE THERE if you CANT AFFORD TO!!!! How about that???!?!?!??!

mydeviladvocate
mydeviladvocate

@InSouthFlorida I am elated that I see "NO WAL-MART" on your site! You have a FAN

Autop10com
Autop10com

You need at least $4-$5k per month to have a decent live in Miami.

mikeyhatesit
mikeyhatesit

@nicolesandler Miami's a perfect example of the 99% serving the 1% on Fischer & Starr islands. Service & tourism comprise majority of jobs.

Erica Ngbeken
Erica Ngbeken

I agree, the cost of living here compared to the wages is incredible. In san Francisco the minimum wage is 10 dollars, over here we are still at 7 and change

ERICK18L
ERICK18L

@MiamiNewTimes Or become a pornstar...

FlashLopez06
FlashLopez06

@YuNoeGibbz looks like its time to start grinding and get the fuck outta the middle class, ASAP

InSouthFlorida.com
InSouthFlorida.com

Sometimes we can lose perspective .. other cities are way more expensive. NY for example .. now, if we all do our part to support more local, independently owned businesses in South Florida - more of the hard earned money we all earn stays in South Florida, generates jobs and helps to boost our economy in South Florida. More money available to all of us means we can afford more "stuff" in our community. Shop Local South Florida, keep it local!

Alex Fiorentini
Alex Fiorentini

In other cities, where prices are higher, salaries are higher too. Miami is expensive in relation to the median local income, that is the sense of the article. Read before you judge.

Luisy VWater
Luisy VWater

There is no mid class. Is super rich, or poor. :/

Jose Arpajon
Jose Arpajon

That "study" is not true! Like some people in this thread have already pointed out, cities in California are much more expensive!

EzƦă VɅǹ
EzƦă VɅǹ

Yeah this is total BS. Miami is my 17th city and probably one of the cheapest to live in.

Derrick Gabriel
Derrick Gabriel

too much to do in the 305. So, if u wanna really enjoy all my hometown has to offer you better be stacked up. That way you dont have to go to work the next day

LizaWalton
LizaWalton

@AlmonteNathalie The price of living in one of the hottest places in the country! :) #miami

DSofia21
DSofia21

@jesse_cpa @miaminewtimes great!?! We are the LEAST affordable city!

AlmonteNathalie
AlmonteNathalie

@LizaWalton Haha! You're right, I don't care I'm going back home. Orlando just doesn't do it for me anymore. lol Let the job hunt begin! :)

jesse_cpa
jesse_cpa

@DSofia21 @miaminewtimes sorry i missed read I thought it was the best place to live. I did not have my coffee today.

LizaWalton
LizaWalton

@AlmonteNathalie Keep me posted! :)

jesse_cpa
jesse_cpa

@DSofia21 hey Daniella I'm about to do my presentation. I used to live there I hope I gets better.

DSofia21
DSofia21

@jesse_cpa hahahahh no problem!

Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...