WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — If you're in the market for a rental home or apartment, South Florida may be a tough spot to look.
According to a new report from Realtor.com, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach area is the third fastest-growing rental market in the country among metro areas.
The average rent in August was $2,432, up 27% from the same time last year.
Only the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. rental markets had faster growth.
"After months of stalled rent growth during the peak of the pandemic, gradual recovery gave way to price surges in 2021," the report said.
In the South Florida market, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment was $2,150 in August, while the average rent for a two-bedroom was $2,802. Both of those were up roughly 25% from last year.
Realtor.com said increasing COVID-19 vaccination rates and the reopening of local economies have "turbo-charged" the rental market, "with price growth seemingly determined to make up for lost time."
"Cumulatively, rents are up 13.7% since Sept 2019 while the median home price is up 19.6% in that period, signaling some more room for rent growth to catch up," the report said.
You can read the full report by clicking here.
For the past five years, Teresa and Joe Gasparre have been watching TV in their living room. But the home they've been renting in Port St. Lucie is now going on the market.
"I found out on Sept. 9, he called me on the phone," said Teresa Gasparre.
Teresa said her landlord is selling with Florida's hot housing market. And she's now forced to find a new rental.
"You can't find anything at all," Teresa said, "People that are on social security, disability or minimum wage, you can't make it to live here no more."
New apartment buildings are going up all over on the Treasure Coast and across South Florida, but rents are rising rapidly.
"Extremely chaotic and extremely competitive," said Will Dean, a broker associate with Echo Fine Properties in Palm Beach Gardens. "I'm seeing rental increases of sometimes $1,000 a month and the wages are not keeping up."
Dean said it's a matter of supply and demand, with more people moving from the Northeast to the Sunshine State, and with supply dwindling like Teresa and Joe's case.
"A lot of homeowners are selling because the value of their home has gone up. They're cashing out and that inventory is not being replaced by new rentals," Dean said.
According to a new report from Realtor.com, rental prices are up 11.5% year-over-year across the country. Some experts predict South Florida could become one of the worst rental markets by the end of the year.
Teresa and Joe were told they have to be out by the end of the month.
"I'm gonna have to go into a hotel because I can't find nothing," Teresa said. "Right now, I just feel we gotta do what we gotta do."
Dean said he expects the trend will continue into the new year.