Oct 7, 2023 - Real Estate

Most Tampa Bay young renters spend 30% of their income on rent

Illustration of two keys crossed over one another with a beam of light behind them

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

The high cost of renting in Tampa Bay plus high mortgage rates are pushing ownership further from reach for young people.

Why it matters: Renting isn't necessarily an affordable alternative.

Driving the news: One in three Gen Zers (34%) surveyed by Freddie Mac say owning a home feels impossible in their lifetime, up from 27% in 2019.

  • Saving for a down payment is the biggest obstacle, they say: It's one reason the typical first-time homebuyer last year was a record-high 36 years old, per the National Association of Realtors.
  • Of note: The shares are higher for Black (35%) and Hispanic (50%) respondents.

Zoom in: Gen Z-er Alina Sharkey has rented in St. Pete since March 2021, and her rent has gone up 26% since then.

  • "My salary did not match the increase of rent so I had to find another way to make money," she says. She got a new certification from her job that allowed her to start making commissions.
  • She spends 33% of her income on rent, and says she would like to buy but can't afford it — thanks to high home prices and mortgage rates.
Share who spend 30 percent or more of their income on housing in the Tampa Bay area, 2022
Data: Census Bureau; Note: Based on household income. Householder is the person/people in whose name the housing unit is owned or rented. Renter housing costs include monthly contract rent and utilities paid by the renter while owner costs include monthly mortgage payments and other debts, utilities, real estate taxes, insurance, etc.; Chart: Simran Parwani/Axios

Most of Tampa Bay's youngest renters are spending at least 30% of their income on rent, the latest U.S. census data show.

  • In all of the 100 biggest U.S. metros, over a third of 15- to 24-year-old householders who rent spend 30% or more of their income on housing, Axios' Simran Parwani reports.

What's happening: Across the U.S., pinched young people are fanning out from big cities, returning to their childhood bedrooms or moving in with partners.

  • Fannie Mae researchers found 30% of young workers are willing to live farther away from the office for more inexpensive housing.
  • Nearly a third of Gen Z adults say they're living at home long-term, The New York Times reports.

Zoom out: America's housing shortage has helped hike the cost of both buying and renting.

Yes, but: The vast majority of young renters are renting for lifestyle reasons, preferring the flexibility to move, RealPage chief economist Jay Parsons tells Axios.


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