MIAMI — Nearly half of Floridians say they have trouble paying their monthly bills and a quarter struggle to keep up with their rent or mortgage payments, according to a university survey.
The survey by the University of South Florida shows the effects that inflation, which is reaching levels in the US not seen in decades, and a real estate market with sky-high prices in Florida, are having on the population of this state, which instead has a very low unemployment rate.
77% of the 600 respondents affirm that inflation, which was 8.5% in March in the US, the highest rate since 1981, especially due to the rise in energy, food and housing prices, has affected their spending in food.
In addition, 48% say that inflation makes it more difficult for them to pay their bills every day and 24% say that they have to make great efforts to pay their mortgage or rent each month.
Housing is a serious problem in Florida as a result of the rise in prices caused by the relocation of thousands of people from other parts of the US to this state during the pandemic and the reactivation of demand by international buyers.
At least one in three Floridians say their income can’t afford to rent or buy a home or apartment in the state.
36% of those surveyed by the University of South Florida indicated that they have left the project of buying a home for better times.
The USF survey was conducted on a representative sample of 600 Floridians between March 31 and April 12 and has a confidence level of 95% and a margin of error of +/-4%.
In the middle of that month it was known that the price of rental homes in Miami skyrocketed by almost 58% in the last year, the largest increase of the 50 largest cities in the United States.
The average price of a home in Miami stood at 2,988 dollars, only surpassed by 12 dollars by the Los Angeles metropolitan area, and also Californians San Diego (3,016) and San José (3,075), according to the real estate agent portal Realtor.com.
Inflation, which reached an all-time high in the country, threatens important sectors of the economy and falls with particular force on small local businesses.
The Democratic Party of Florida called on the state’s governor, Republican Ron DeSantis, to take action to tackle the rental “crisis” and cite a report that warns that these high costs could “drag the economy” in the region.
“We have data that shows Floridians are the highest cost-burden renters in the country, with more than half of renters spending more than 30% of their wages on housing,” state Rep. Fentrice Driskell said Thursday. .
In Florida, the unemployment rate stood at 3.2% in March, but even so, people are struggling and, according to organizations dedicated to helping the very low-income sectors, in Miami there are thousands of people at serious risk of being homeless.
“A large percentage of families are just one salary away from becoming homeless,” Alexis Chaviano of the Miami Rescue Mission said last week.