In the U.S. there are many cities where recent graduates can afford at least a small apartment on their own, so they can become independent and not crash with their parents or even grandparents. An ideal rental apartment would be close to work, spacious enough so that a person doesn’t become claustrophobic and priced around or less than a third of a monthly paycheck, along with all the bills.
Some of these affordable housing cities include St. Louis, Dallas, Atlanta, Phoenix and Houston, but their markets are among the most affordable ones.
These are the cities where recent grads can afford to live alone in a separate apartment or a house, and be able to have enough money left to eat and lead a normal life.
However, this is not the case in Miami.
As the price of real estate in Miami became higher recently, graduates can rarely afford not to live with roommates or to leave their parents’ homes. This is especially hardly possible if you want your new home to be near some bars, close to work, and in an overall good location.
A recent graduate from Florida International University who works full-time and has a significantly higher salary than most recent grads, Raymond Pereira, struggles to find a place to live and still have some money at the end of the month. It seems that the cost of housing in Miami is more expensive than in any other city in the U.S. Well, this is not entirely true – according to the recent study released by Trulia, an online real estate company, there are a few cities more expensive for recent graduates, and those are Portland, Oregon; Riverside, California; and Orange County, California.
In Miami-Dade County there is only 1 in 100 available apartments that can be considered affordable for people who recently graduated from college and have a full-time job. Often, these numbers are even smaller.
Miami has been proclaimed as the city with affordable housing for families, and according to Trulia’s housing economist, Ralph McLaughlin, this is true but for rich families, as those properties were constructed in high end areas. He also confirms that such type of housing is definitely not affordable for recent graduates who on average earn $25,778 per year. Considering their salary, and the fact that housing shouldn’t take more than a third of ones paycheck, less than 0.5% of all apartments in Miami are affordable.
To make things worse, from May 2014 to May 2015, median rent in Miami has become $200 more expensive.
This means that currently to be able to afford a normal apartment, you would have to earn around $86.000 per year, or even more. This is, obviously impossible for recent graduates. Even Pereira who earns $35.000 per year can’t afford anything more than an apartment shared with a couple of roommates. Either that or stay with his grandparents and commute more than an hour to work every day.
A partner at the affordable housing developer Pinnacle Housing Group, Mitchell Friedman, explains that the reason for these high prices is an influx of foreign money and higher costs of construction and it is his estimate that, unfortunately, the problem probably won’t be solved soon.