How Much Home Can South Florida Afford?

Sep 20, 2015

Between a neighbor's leaf blower and planes overhead taking off from Miami International Airport, it's hard to hear Jorge Artiles describe the home on Northwest 34th Street.

It's rundown with pockmarks on its stucco exterior. An iron bar door is padlocked with a realtor's lockbox. Bars run across the windows, too, which are boarded up with plywood. The green paint on the concrete front step has been worn away. Yet, this home is among those Artiles and the company he works with, InvestQuest, have purchased in this older neighborhood, betting the real estate boom in the Design District and Wynwood will migrate west.

According to Artiles, they plan to invest another $40,000 in repairs and hope to rent it for $1,800 a month. It would take an annual income of $54,000 to afford that comfortably. The average income is about half that,  according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

In a Miami Herald analysis, Allapattah is among the neighborhoods with affordable prices and fast-rising values. As the market recovers from the housing collapse, housing affordability is increasingly a challenge in South Florida. Median home prices have jumped while household incomes have remained flat. That puts owning a home out of reach for many working South Floridians.

WLRN used median county home values from the University of Florida's Shimberg Center for Housing Studies along with median county income generated by the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey to plot how much home South Floridians can comfortably afford. (NOTE: While each buyer's financial situation is different, many financial experts guide homebuyers to not spend more than 3.3 times their annual income on a home.)

Miami-Dade County:

Broward County:

Palm Beach County:

Monroe County: