Can You Afford To Live In Miami? (Probably Not)

Originally posted on June 20, 2017 9:00 am
Updated on July 05, 2017 4:13 pm

Income Needed to Rent in Miami is Over the Annual Household Median

Cost of living has been on the rise since, well, the beginning of time. Unfortunately, it seems like income just never catches up. Median household income for Miami-Dade County according to the most recent Census ACS is just $43,786. Broward County is a bit higher, at $53,926 for the typical family. This means that 50% of the population make more than this, but also that 50% make less. If you’ve been wondering where you can afford to live, RentHop’s data science team has done the math for you.

The 40x Rule

To calculate what is and isn’t affordable, we used the 40x rule. This is the rule of thumb for most landlords in pretty much every major city. This guideline says that the household income must be at least 40 times the monthly rent. For example: if rent is $3,000 for a 2 bedroom, then you and your roommate must make at least $120,000 combined. This assumes your credit is solid and there are no other red flags.

There are exceptions to this rule: If you have vast savings or a guarantor whom makes 80 times the rent, a landlord is likely to let you slide without meeting the income requirements. It’s also not unheard of for a landlord to request last month’s rent in addition to the first month and security deposit for those with below average credit / income. Our “how much can I afford” guide can give you a little more info on these rules and some ways to overcome them.

So how much DO you need to live in a Miami neighborhood?

The Map Below Shows Income Required for a 2-Bedroom Apartment in Miami


The map above shows the cost of a two-bedroom apartment in neighborhoods across Miami-Dade County as well as parts of Broward County. We used data for the trailing 12 months as of June 1, 2017 to calculate the median asking rent and multiplied that by 40 to calculate the customary income requirement to rent an apartment. Median household income is all according to the Census American Community Survey 2015, table S1903.

The map might lead you to believe that no one can afford to live in Miami, but we are mapping only the asking rents. Most of the population already has somewhere to live; many own their homes and many others have rented their homes for so long that they’re locked in to a much lower rent.

What Are the Least Affordable Places to Live in Miami?

As one might expect, Fisher Island tops the list of least affordable neighborhoods to live in Miami. A tiny (as Fisher Island goes) two-bedroom is $12,000/month, although most homes are much larger and a lot more expensive. Neighborhoods on the Miami Beach peninsula like South Point and La Gorce hold spots in the top 5, with annual income of $200,000 and $188,000 needed. The Village of Key Biscayne rounds out the top 5 with median two-bedroom rent of $3,950 which requires $158,000 in household income to secure.

The Table Below Displays all Two-Bedroom Median Asking Rents

It also shows the income required to live there for all neighborhoods that we had sufficient data. Click any column name to sort by that column, or type in a neighborhood name to search for yours.

Is There Anywhere in Miami That’s Actually Affordable?

If you click to re-sort the table above by the “Income-Rent Ratio” it’ll show that stat in ascending order. This shows us West Park and Oakland Park at the top of the list of affordable neighborhoods. Neighborhoods in Broward County topped the list of affordable neighborhoods, certainly helped by the higher median income level there.

Opa-Locka, Model City, and South Miami Heights ranked as the most affordable neighborhoods in Miami-Dade County, with two-bedrooms available for $1,200 per month or lower. This is still more than the typical family can afford, pointing to the larger issue of housing unaffordability that is common is cities across the country.

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