Miami and Fort Lauderdale residents looking for an apartment are faced with some of the most expensive rents in the U.S. — but a reprieve is expected.
The median asking rents for available one- and two-bedroom apartments either stayed flat or decreased in November compared with the previous month and a year before, according to San Francisco-based apartment information website Zumper.
A Miami resident looking for a one-bedroom apartment in November was asked to pay a median rent of $1,750, or the same as the previous month and 2.8 percent less than November 2016, according to Zumper. A resident seeking a two-bedroom apartment was asked to pay a median rent of $2,400, or 1.2 percent less than the previous month and 4 percent less than a year before.
In Fort Lauderdale, the median asking rent for a one-bedroom unit was $1,500, or 1.3 percent less than the previous month and the same as November last year, Zumper data show. The two-bedroom median was $1,900, or 2.6 percent less than October and 5 percent less than a year before.
Despite the decreases, Miami and Fort Lauderdale still had some of the highest asking rents for available units in November of the 100 largest U.S. cities studied by Zumper.
Miami stayed at No. 9 on the most expensive rent list, and Fort Lauderdale ranked 13th, according to Zumper.
That means Miami was cheaper than Seattle, where the median asking rent was $1,840 for one bedroom and $2,410 for two bedrooms. But it was more expensive than Honolulu, where the median asking rent was $1,700 for one bedroom and $2,110 for two bedrooms, Zumper data show.
Fort Lauderdale was cheaper than Chicago, where the asking rent was $1,530 for a one bedroom and $2,180 for a two bedroom. But it was more expensive than Long Beach, California, where the asking rent was $1,430 for a one bedroom and $1,900 for a two bedroom, the data show.
Here’s the good news: South Florida rents should stay flat or decrease in the next year to 18 months, according to Eli Beracha, faculty director in the international real estate program at Florida International University’s Hollo School of Real Estate.
Rents have been climbing since 2011, but new deliveries are stopping the hikes, he added.
“That extra supply is basically giving a breather to renters,” said Beracha, who teaches international real estate, real estate investing and real estate market analysis at FIU.
The number of new apartments delivered annually in Miami-Dade County has been increasing since 2013, peaking at more than 5,000 new units in 2016, according to a Cushman & Wakefield multifamily market report. So far this year, more than 2,500 units have been added.
In Broward County, the number of new apartments delivered annually peaked at nearly 4,000 in 2014. Since then, more than 7,000 apartments were added, according to the report.
And more are being built. In Miami-Dade, 25 apartment buildings with a total of 8,152 units are under construction. In Broward, 16 apartment buildings are under construction and, once finished, will add 5,499 units, according to Cushman & Wakefield.
“In Miami, look at the amount of buildings that are being completed. There’s a lot of supply, and that’s coming online now or in the next year,” Beracha said. “People who bought units and will rent them out, they are going to compete and they will not be able to push rents up. They will be able to charge what they charge now or even lower,”
While a reprieve is expected in the short term, it won’t last for long, Beracha said. Construction is slowing, and developers are stalling or scratching their projects.