TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The cost of housing is high, making up half of the most recent inflation report’s cost increases nationally. While rental costs and mortgage rates are both increasing, options for affordability vary.
According to a cost of living analysis by RentHop, one way to save money every month is by having a roommate.
The RentHop analysis said the city to save the most in by getting a roommate is New York City, where “skyrocketing” rents have made the price for even a one-bedroom unit hit as much as $3,950 on average. Comparatively, a two-bedroom in New York City can cost about $5,295 for renters, meaning splitting the bill makes it $2,648 per person, according to RentHop.
The company said that means roommates end up saving about $1,300 per month by sharing the costs for housing. In a similar vein, Miami residents also have options. A one-bedroom unit is going for about $2,950, with RentHop saying it’s the “least affordable housing market” in the country.
Renters who choose to double up can save as much as $1,050, according to the company. Staying in Florida, Tampa residents who choose to rent with a friend, family member, or others can save hundreds per month too.
The RentHop analysis showed that Tampa renters are paying a median price of about $1,890 per month for a one-bedroom apartment. A two-bedroom median cost is reportedly $2,255, according to RentHop, meaning that by getting a roommate, the savings hit $763 per month, with each roommate paying about $1,128 instead.
For those who want to stay in Tampa Bay but don’t want Tampa prices, St. Petersburg is a nearby option with smaller costs.
RentHop reported the median one-bedroom cost for a St. Pete apartment was about $1,550, with a two-bedroom apartment reaching $2,000 flat. The company said renting together there means $550 in monthly savings if both roommates pay $1,000.
Ways to save on housing are particularly an issue in Florida, where affordability remains a topic of concern for lawmakers and residents alike.
In terms of actual costs from paycheck to budget, roughly 70% of Florida’s renters are cost-burdened by their housing expenses, according to Florida Tax Watch. That means about 70% of Floridians are spending more than 30% of their income on rent. Since 2020, Florida Tax Watch reported rent prices had risen 36%.
For low-income residents, who are more cost-burdened than others, the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Gap report showed that, depending on your income level and where you live, between 25% to 94% of Floridians may be cost-burdened. Notably, the state as a whole has a range closer to 40% to 90%, with different metro areas reviewed having different rates by income.
For those making 81% to 100% of their area median income, 42% of Floridians are cost-burdened, while for residents either making up to 50% of the AMI or lower, the number of renter households that are cost-burdened jumps to 87% or 90%.
In the Tampa area specifically, the numbers range between 35% to 91%, on a scale from making up to 100% of the AMI to households considered “extremely low income.” Families that spend more than 50% of their income per month on rent are considered to be “severely cost burdened.”
For Floridians, that accounts for roughly 559,284 households, and about 147,978 available rental homes that are affordable. In the Tampa area, the ratio is 84,355 to 20,233, according to NLIHC’s data. The nonprofit reports that 21% of renter households in Florida are extremely low income.