South Florida home prices rising much faster than salaries

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida marketa itself as a paradise. But like so many areas right now, living in paradise is coming with a soaring cost — in part, because so many people are now moving to South Florida.

Sofia Johan with Florida Atlantic University’s Finance Department said one reason buying an affordable home in Florida is tough is the inability to keep up with demand.

“We’re not building as many houses for these new migrants, right? For those moving from Texas to California, enjoying the good weather, enjoying the livability, security, the safety that we have here,” she said.

Adding to the affordability crisis, Johan said, is a lack of income people simply are not making enough.

“Home prices are rising much faster than salaries are rising, so it seems like it’s less affordable,” she said.

Florida is not alone in the struggle for affordable housing. Overall, affordability nationwide is nearly the worst on record.

Right now, the average monthly mortgage payment is $1,809 nationally. That’s a spike of more than $550 per month year to date.

Since the onset of the pandemic, the typical mortgage payment in the U.S. has increased by nearly $800.

Realtor Jeff Lichtenstein with Echo Fine Properties said South Floridians are living through an extreme market.

“If you looked just at Jupiter, for example, if you go back to 1980, there were 9,300 people in Jupiter,” he said. “Today, there are 62,000 people, so that’s a seven-fold increase, and there’s no more land to create new supply, but you still have demand of people coming in.”

So what could bring relief? Lichtenstein said an increase in supply, but that will likely take some time.

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