The news of rent decreasing in Miami-area cities has been met with great enthusiasm and relief. For locals, it’s a much-needed reprieve from the ever-increasing cost of living. With the decrease in rent, occupants can now stretch their dollars further and have more financial flexibility. For landlords, this is an opportunity to attract more tenants with competitive rental rates. The reduced rent is a win-win situation for all involved, allowing people to get more out of life in the sunny city of

Here’s where you can live for less money.
Residential rents across South Florida dropped in November. Let us repeat that again. Many of us are now paying less for rent. In a region where housing costs seem to be going up with no end in sight, this news in South Florida sounds shocking after triple-digit increases during the pandemic. But rents have indeed decreased year-over-year — 1% to 15% — in several cities across Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, according to the latest monthly Miami Metro report by online national rental listing company Zumper. The company surveyed the median asking rents in November 2023 versus November 2022 for new listings in 29 of the most populated cities in the tri-county area. The listings consist of apartments, condos, houses and townhouses on Zumper and third-party sites, including the Multiple Listing Service.

Asking rents dwindled in 14 cities for one bedroom and in 10 cities for two bedrooms:
▪ Rents fell the most in Sunny Isles Beach (14.4%), Plantation (10.1%) and Dania Beach (10.1%) for one-bedroom residences, and in Aventura (14.5%), North Miami (10.4%) and Fort Lauderdale (5.7%) for two bedrooms.
▪ Asking rents stayed flat — less than a 1% change — in six cities for one-bedroom residences and in seven cities for two bedrooms. For one-bedrooms, the cities include Miami Beach (0%), Aventura (0%), Hallandale Beach (0.5%), Coral Springs (0%), Oakland Park (0.6%) and Homestead (0%). For two-bedrooms, rents remained flat in Miami (0.6%), Doral (0%), Plantation (0.8%), Davie (0.4%), Coral Springs (0%), Oakland Park (0.5%) and West Palm Beach (0%).
▪ Still, some cities saw rents increase. Rents rose the most in Hollywood (11.8%), Coral Gables (9.4%) and Hialeah (7.4%) for one-bedroom rentals, and in Miami Gardens (14.3%), Hollywood (9.2%) and Sunny Isles Beach (7.9%) for two bedrooms.

Migration and rental supply drove down rents, said Crystal Chen, a Zumper data analyst. “It is a renters’ market,” she said, “and renters are in the driving seat. Good news for them since rents is coming down a lot.” Annual rents first showed signs of cooling this summer. Rents soared during the pandemic as wealthy people moved to town. Executives and remote workers relocated to South Florida during the pandemic for the warm climate, zero income tax and lean COVID policies. But some of those transplants have returned home to the Northeast or West Coast, called back to the office or just missing their familiar territory. And long-time residents also found new places to call home, in cities with lower costs of living. All of that has contributed to Miami-Dade County’s nearly 28,000 population decline in recent years. Supply is influencing rent prices in South Florida. The region had about 19,000 active rental listings in November 2023, up from about 8,000 listings in November 2022. Rents, Chen said, are expected to fall further or remain steady for most cities in South Florida through the first half of next year.

Falling rent sounds like good news for residents. But not so fast. Rents remain out of reach for most people in South Florida —especially in the cities that saw the biggest price declines. So the good news: Rent is down a lot in Sunny Isles Beach, home luxury glass towers. The bad news: You can’t afford to live there anyway. The median asking rent for a one-bedroom residence is $1,780 per month in Dania Beach, $1,950 in Plantation and $2,500 in Sunny Isles Beach, according to the Miami Metro Zumper report. Monthly rents are higher for two bedrooms at $2,500 in North Miami, $2,800 in Fort Lauderdale and $3,360 in Aventura. Over half of renter households in Miami-Dade County earn below $50,000 a year, based on the 2023 Housing Needs Assessment report by the University of Florida and Miami Homes for All. As a result, many renters are likely to be cost-burdened, meaning they spend over a third of their income on rent. So, someone earning $50,000 a year would have to spend at most about $1,800 per month to have enough to spend on food, utilities, savings and recreation. The reality is demand has slowed, but remains higher than pre-pandemic levels, said Eli Beracha, real estate professor and director of Florida International University’s Tibor and Sheila Hollo School of Real Estate. “It’s migration, but not panic migration,” Beracha said. “The panic is behind us. Now you see those regular moves. You’re going to see prices changing over time.” While some people are returning to their home state, many from California, Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut continue to relocate to South Florida. People from other countries are continuing to come, too. All this movement is keeping rent prices above what cities saw before 2019.

While workers moved to South Florida during the pandemic, the high cost of housing and living drove out clusters of residents. And many still here are thinking about leaving.

Rents remain out of reach for most people in many of the areas that saw the biggest rent declines, making it difficult for people with low incomes to both find housing and stay in the area. That means that even with the decrease in rent prices, many people are still struggling to find affordable housing. The decrease in rents has also led to an uptick in tenants looking for new places to live, which has caused competition for lower-cost housing options in the area.

In addition, the decrease in rent prices has been accompanied by an increase in housing costs, such as utility bills, which further squeezes the budget of those living on a low income. Homeownership is also increasingly out of reach for many, as fewer properties have come onto the market and those that do are often too expensive for many buyers.

As a result of the high cost of housing, many individuals and families throughout the Miami area are finding it difficult to make ends meet. This has prompted a need for more affordable housing options, which is something cities are working to implement, but economic and political factors often put a damper on these efforts. It’s also important for individuals to take advantage of available rental assistance programs in their cities to help alleviate some of the burden.