Real Estate

65 Percent of Miamians Live in Rentals, Most of Any Major American City

Miami has overtaken New York City in a statistic it has long nationally dominated: the percentage of residents who rent their homes.

According to a new report from New York University's Furman Center and Capital One Financial Corp, 65 percent of Miamians rented in 2013, slightly ahead of the 64 percent of New Yorkers who rented. For Miami, that's a 5 percent increase since 2006.

The report found that renter-majority areas aren't uncommon. Renters make up the majority of the population in nine of the nation's 11 largest metro areas. However, with the exception of second-place New York, the ratio is much more pronounced in Miami. Only 60 percent of Angelenos and Bostonians rent. Fifty-seven percent of people in San Francisco rent. In Chicago, the rate is just 52 percent.

Of course, Miami's laws regarding rent control and stabilization are nothing compared to New York's, and Miami's high rate of renters isn't economically healthy. It's also not surprising Miami's rate of renters has surged since the recession as South Florida became the epicenter of the foreclosure bust, and many former homeowners now rent.

"As the number of renters grow, if the supply of rental housing does not keep up -- as it has not in most of these cities -- then vacancy rates will fall, rents will rise, and more renters will struggle with the costs of housing," Ingrid Gould Ellen, the Furman Center's faculty director, told the Wall Street Journal.

Miami may be undergoing a building boom, but the majority of those new condos are luxury properties aimed as investments or pieds-à-terre for wealthy foreigners.

And rent in Miami isn't cheap. A 2014 study found that a Miamian would need to earn $17.50 an hour to afford a decent one-bedroom apartment.

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Kyle Munzenrieder