With rising housing and transportation costs, the city of Miami is the hardest place in the country to be a middle-class resident, according to Miami New Times:
“Increased demand for rental housing combined with insufficient new production has raised rents,” says Jeffrey Lubell, executive director of the Center for Housing Policy, “while households with blemished credit and existing homeowners with underwater mortgages have been unable to take advantage of lower home prices.”
Lubell’s study looked at the combined costs of housing and transportation for the 25 biggest metro areas in the country and found that in general, both had risen by 44 percent since 2000 without a corresponding bump in income.
That trend tends to squeeze the middle class hardest of all, the center says. And nowhere has that been more true than in Miami.
Middle-class households in Dade spend a staggering 72 percent of their income on transportation and housing costs, the study found.
That’s the highest share of income in the nation, followed by Riverside, California (69 percent) and Tampa (66 percent.)
What’s more, in Miami those costs have jumped by 47 percent since 2000, while incomes have risen only 21 percent.
It doesn’t help that Miami not only has an expensive housing and rental market, but that it’s tough for most residents to get around without a car, necessitating ever more cash for gas, car payments and repairs.
“Both housing and transportation costs need to be made more affordable,” the center’s President and Co-Founder Scott Bernstein writes.
The most affordable towns for average income families include D.C., Minneapolis and Boston.