MAP: Here are some of the most and least affordable places to live in South Florida

Looking for an apartment in South Florida on a tight — or perhaps large — budget?

The South Florida Sun Sentinel analyzed recently released data from Zumper, an online rental platform, to determine the areas with the least and most affordable one-bedroom apartments, according to the median monthly rent across Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

The state median monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment was $1,653 in November. Nearly every major South Florida city used in Zumper’s data either exceeds or sits right on that figure. Among the neighborhoods listed with rents at or below $1,650 to $1,700 are Lake Worth Beach, Sunrise and Homestead.

In the Miami metropolitan area, which also includes Broward and Palm Beach counties, people are paying about a 7.6% premium, said Ken H. Johnson, a real estate economist who also works at Florida Atlantic University’s College of Business.

A premium is an additional sum of money renters and homeowners often have to shell out for a home. The national premium hovers around 4%, Johnson said.

“The rental crisis, in terms of rapidly increasing rates, has passed, but we are now in an affordability crisis,” Johnson said. “Rents have stopped going up so fast, but they’re not going down, and they probably won’t go down.”

The higher- and lower-income listings

Zumper reports available listings in cities across the region, and the Sun Sentinel put together the available listings for one-bedroom apartments in the most and least expensive cities.

Here are the available listings for the top five cities with the highest median rents as of Thursday:

  • Miami has 160 one-bedroom units available at or below $2,600.
  • Miami Beach has 229 one-bedroom units available at or below $2,500.
  • Sunny Isles Beach has 63 one-bedroom units available at or below $2,500.
  • Coral Gables has 48 one-bedroom units available at or below $2,450. (Zumper only provides price points in $50 increments, so while the median rent price for Coral Gables is actually $2,440, the 48-unit figure is based on $2,450.)
  • Aventura has 43 one-bedroom units available at or below $2,400.

Here are the available listings for the bottom five cities with the lowest median rents as of Thursday:

  • Sunrise has 23 one-bedroom units available at or below $1,700.
  • Homestead has 14 one-bedroom units available at or below $1,650.
  • Lake Worth Beach has 31 one-bedroom units available at or below $1,650.
  • Lauderhill has 20 one-bedroom units available at or below $1,550. (Zumper only provides price points in $50 increments, so while the median rent price for Lauderhill is actually $1,560, the 20-unit figure is based on $1,550.)
  • Miami Gardens has nine one-bedroom units available at or below $1,500. (Zumper only provides price points in $50 increments, so while the median rent price for Miami Gardens is actually $1,510, the nine-unit figure is based on $1,500.)

Rent prices in South Florida, even in the cheapest markets, are still well above the state and national markets, but rent is, at the very least, stabilizing, and supply is starting to catch up with demand, according to real estate experts.

“It’s going to equal out,” John Zalkin, the executive vice president of RKW Residential, a property management firm with properties across the region.

How much to pay in rent

So what factors contribute to higher and lower rents?

As you would expect, residences closest to the beach tend to be more expensive. It certainly explains why the most expensive cities are minutes if not steps away from the water.

But in Homestead, for example, there are not as many jobs available as there would be in Miami, Johnson said, which would explain why Homestead has a much lower median rent than Miami.

Supply comes into play, too: There may simply be fewer one-bedroom apartments in Homestead than in Miami Beach, for example.

Land costs also connect to price fluctuations, Zalkin said, in that the higher the land costs in any given area, the higher the home prices are likely to be. Buying land in downtown Miami is more expensive than buying land in Miami Gardens, for example, given the lack of available land in the metropolis that is downtown Miami, he said.

Supply and demand

A change in inventory may be brewing, Zalkin said.

More than 40,000 apartments are under construction in Broward and Palm Beach counties, he said, with more than 30,000 units awaiting completion in Miami-Dade County.

This influx of units will create more options in the future, which could be good news for renters as concessions may make a reappearance, Zalkin said. These are essentially incentives made to renters, such as the first month being free, in hopes they will pick one apartment over another.

“There was a time where you had no option. It was take it or leave it,” he said.

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