Area Rental Rates Slightly Below US Average
By Christina Sturgis
The Tampa metropolitan area rental market is a bit more affordable than the Sunshine State or the nation as a whole, according to Zillow, but that does not mean making rent is easy for all households.
The rent list price is $1,150, up 15 percent from last year, and the Zillow rent index is $1,213, while the prices are $1,409 for Florida and $1,311 for the United States.
A household is considered “burdened” rental costs if their monthly housing costs equal or exceed 35 percent of their income, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. A federal study released in April 2013 found that 49.33 percent of Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater households were burdened by housing costs, higher than the national percentage of 44.32.
The dubious honor of highest percentage of rent-burdened households went to the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Pompano Beach at 55.67 percent, exceeding the 45.75 percent of struggling households in the New York-Northern, N.J.-Long Island area, known for its high cost of living.
In that study, the bureau found a rental vacancy rate of 7.4 percent nationwide, but found major metropolitan areas had higher rates. Tampa, at 11.19 percent, was among 10 with double-digit rates. The others are Jacksonville, Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz.; Memphis; Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta; Cincinnati-Middletown; Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas; Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla.; Las Vegas-Paradise; and Richmond, Va.
So once the rent check clears, how does life in Tampa stack up to other places? Sperling’s Best Places states that Tampa’s unemployment is higher than average, 10.3 percent compared to 8.6 percent for the nation. Future job growth is projected at 30.2 percent; lower than 32.10 for the nation. The cost of living is a slightly lower than average. On a scale where 100 is the average cost of living, Tampa is 91.
A consequence of the mortgage foreclosure crisis in Florida is that tenants are displaced with little warning. The County Extension Service at the University of Florida has collected advice for tenants in that position.