Miami rental rates among highest, making housing difficult to find

Posted May 7, 2017


Have you ever thought of living in Miami? Well of course you have! We have a wild night life scene, great restaurants, and beautiful beaches that come along with breathtaking sunsets you can see from our luxurious condos. Sounds like a dream, right?

Guess again.

Loft for rent located at the heart of Downtown Miami. Within minutes of Brickell (Photos by Chantal Alba).

If you’re thinking of renting in Miami, you might want to think of a place that won’t cost you an arm, leg, and all of your savings.

According to Zillow, a one bedroom and one bathroom apartments in Miami Beach, Downtown Miami, the Brickell area or Coral Gables averages $2,450.

Still thinking about that beautiful beach you can see from your “future” luxurious condo? Then maybe knowing that Forbes published an article naming Miami “The Worst City for Renters in 2017” will stop you. This may be a shocker that Miami made the list but here’s a little background information as to why they made the list:

  • The area has extremely low vacancy rates at 2.2 percent (one of the worst rental affordability statistics in the country).
  • Average rent (which isn’t that high) is at $1,386. But because of the low pay in the city, that tallies out to 36 percent of the median income in Miami.
  • Low vacancy rates in Miami forced rent to go up 6.6 percent within the last year, which is also the eighth most rapid increase in the nation. Fortunately, enough local experts predict the price to drop once several of the luxury towers that are currently under construction become available.

Vedado Apartments is located in central Little Havana, just minutes from Brickell and downtown Miami. At the end of April 2017, three apartments were available for rent.

Kevin Condon, who is a real estate consultant at Deloitte Financial Advisory Services, says that even though many people can’t afford realty in this city anymore, people within this industry are proposing developers to create apartments for middle- class professionals who are trying to live more comfortable and in a central zone of the city.

“The plan is to build condos or buildings in good areas of the city, that will target people making between $ 29,000 and $ 67,000,” he stated.

Youssef Bali, who is a realtor in the Miami area, agrees that even though the rent is still high, he assures the rent will sooner or later drop due to the excess of construction and all of the new apartment buildings being made. Bali also adds that the majority of his sales come from “rich International buyers” who acquire property in Miami for vacation.

“Also many International people buy properties for their kids who are going to college,” said Bali.

A spacious one-floor house with a pool for sale in a Coral Gables neighborhood.

Speaking of college, let’s talk about the cost of college student housing.

According to, to live in a shared bedroom on-campus for a year cost $7,556.

And to live off-campus may cost $10,600 a year; therefore, if you choose this option you’ll be paying $3,044 more.

You may be thinking for $3,044 more, I’d rather live in a spacious apartment, where I can have a kitchen and a private bathroom.

And you may be right, but despite what you may think about how it’s way better to live off-campus, that does not guarantee you will be living in a nice neighborhood. You may find an apartment that fits your budget on which I can assure you it will not be close to campus and by that you need to include the cost of a car, insurance, Sunpass tolls, plus gas into the $10,000 you’re already paying to be off campus.

If I still haven’t convinced you and you are still undecided on whether to live on campus or off-campus, then maybe you’re on the side of Karla Nunez, who is a senior at the University of Miami, majoring in broadcasting and economics. Nunez currently lives in a two-bedroom apartment in Downtown Miami with two other roommates who help with the living expenses.

Nunez puts things into perspective between the pros and cons of living off-campus and says that even though it is expensive and she lives with two roommates she loves Miami and her apartment “even though it is expensive I rather live off campus than live in a small square.”

On the other hand, Jasmin Fernandez is a Florida International University alum and currently has a career in public relations. A year ago, Fernandez computed her expenses, which included student loans, car payment and overpriced rent for a “mini” one-bedroom apartment in Little Havana. This is when she decided to move to New York and has not regretted the decision she has made.

A single-family home located in a peaceful neighborhood near South Miami is for rent.

Even though Fernandez still can’t afford to live in Manhattan, she found a two-bedroom apartment in Yonkers, where she pays $1,100. This rent is such a coincidence because she used to pay the same amount at the Little Havana apartment.

As of now, Fernandez says she feels less stress because she is getting paid $20,000 more yearly, including health Insurance, than what she earned in Miami. Fernandez is working as an event coordinator at the Gansevoort Hotel located in Park Avenue, while living in Miami she used to have the same position at the South Beach Dream Hotel and earned $26,000 yearly.

“After living in Miami for 10 years, I feel relieved because I can finally pay my pills without stress, I have been able to pay credit cards debts, and still have managed to save some money.”

She said that she does miss Miami, and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t? But Fernandez states that she rather be economically stable than live with the stress of not knowing how she will make it each month.

Full time realtor, Morella Otaiza encourages her clients to buy instead of renting.

“At the end of the day when you rent, it is money that goes to waste. It’s way better to own a home than keep paying for something that’s not yours,” she said.

It’s hard not to agree with what Otaiza is saying, but make sure you do your research before you plan on buying a home in South Florida, because apparently that’s just as hard as finding cheap rent in Miami.