US Representative Charlie Crist, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, unveiled what he thought was at stake when voters in Florida voted in November: affordable housing.
Floridians “are ready for a governor who is focused on the real issues facing our state,” Crist said at a May 4 news conference. “This is the real crisis: it costs more to live in many cities in Florida than it does in New York.”
Florida residents are struggling with rising rental prices, exploding demand and limited supply. But are the rents as high as Crist made them believe?
It’s a bit more complicated than his comparison suggests.
Most cities in Florida are cheaper than New York
The cost of living in Florida has increased dramatically since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Rent prices have especially skyrocketed from West Palm Beach to Miami, according to data maintained by Realtor.com.
Realtor.com released a report in March indicating that the median rent in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach area has increased approximately 57% over the past year.
The report looked at 50 “basic statistical areas,” that is, geographic regions drafted by the White House Office of Management and Budget that often consist of two or more socioeconomically related counties.
South Florida, with a median rent of $2,988 per month, topped New York’s median rent of $2,750 in March, according to the report. The Tri-County area also grew at a faster rate year-over-year than New York City.
However, other major metropolitan areas in Florida trailed New York in terms of median rent. For example, the Tampa-St. The Petersburg-Clearwater area had a median rent of $2,114 per month, an annual increase of about 30%.
The median rent price in Jacksonville was $1,580 and the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford area was $1,886.
So, New York’s median rent is actually higher than most cities in Florida. When looking at home prices for sale, the median asking price in New York is also more expensive.
“From the perspective of real rents and real estate prices, the New York City subway remains one of the most expensive subways in the country,” said Ken Johnson, real estate economist and dean of the Florida College of Business. Atlantic University.
Florida’s rental and homeownership premiums exceed New York’s
Crist’s characterization is more accurate in terms of rental and ownership premiums, or the percentage difference between a metropolitan area’s statistically estimated prices and its current prices.
Real estate economists measure rental and ownership premiums to help consumers assess whether their current market is overvalued or undervalued.
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Researchers from Florida Atlantic University, Florida Gulf Coast University and the University of Alabama analyzed major rental markets in the United States and ranked the most expensive areas.
Of the 25 most overvalued rental markets in the country, the five highest are all in Florida.
“Six months ago, only a few Florida metros were in the Top 25 on this ranking,” Johnson told PolitiFact. “So the Florida markets seem to be moving up this ranking very quickly.”
Research has shown that residents of Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Tampa, North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton and Port St. Lucie are paying too much rent.
In Miami-Fort Lauderdale, for example, renters are paying about 21% more than they should be, based on long-term trends in the area. It’s the most overvalued market in Florida.
Meanwhile, New York was not on the list. According to another study measuring more than 100 U.S. rental markets, New York City ranks 98th.
“In terms of premium, the New York City Subway is one of the cheapest subways in the country,” Johnson said.
Crist said, “It costs more to live in many cities in Florida than in New York.”
PolitiFact found that the median rent in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach area exceeded that of New York City. However, while cities in Florida have seen record growth, their median rental prices still lag behind New York.
Crist is more correct when it comes to rental and ownership bonuses. According to a study analyzing more than 100 US rental markets, New York City had one of the lowest rents in the country.
We rate Crist’s assertion as half true.