South Florida Rent Hikes May Tighten Budgets Of Black, Latino Households

Upset african american woman sitting at kitchen table with laptop, dealing with financial stress and pressure because of mortgage debt, worrying or feeling anxious. No money concept

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Data shows rent prices are rising in South Florida, which may put more financial stress on Black and Latino households, NBC Miami reports.

Research from Zillow, an online real estate website, says the average August rent in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale are was up 20% compared to last year. Housing experts have called this rise jarring.

“I have not seen any jump like that ever, not only since I am an adult and working in real estate, but also looking at the data historically,” Dr. Eli Beracha told reporters. Beracha, who is the director of the Hollo School of Real Estate at Florida International University, adds that rent prices usually increase with home prices.

The more money you're spending on rent, the fewer funds you have for other bills.

"They take whatever the market gives them, so as long as the consumer is able to pay more, they will charge more," he continued.

Jeff Tucker, a senior economist with Zillow, says rent typically makes up 30% or a third of your income, "but we see a lot of renters flying past that benchmark."

Such is the case for Black and Latino households compared to white households. Nearly 40% of a Black household's income goes to rent, according to Zillow. For Latino households, 41% of their income pays for rent, they added. This was compared to 35% of white households.

The news come nearly two years after the COVID-19 pandemic kicked off. A January study from Harvard University found that the crisis and recession exacerbated housing instability for renters of color, who were more likely to face eviction compared to white renters.

"Black and Hispanic renter households in particular were twice as likely as white renter households to be behind on housing payments and twice as likely to report being at risk of eviction," researchers say.

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