By Rob Wile
There's a reason why people are seriously considering having Miami teachers live at school.
Miami area teachers can now only afford 9 percent of area homes, according to new data from Trulia.
That's down 9.7 percentage points in just one year, thanks to a 5.9% decrease in overall teacher wages, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data, and a 12.8% increase in list prices. Trulia said the median income for Miami teachers is now $49,013, while the median home price in the Miami metro area is $450,000.
Last year, the Herald reported on the struggles area teachers face in finding workforce housing, citing a study that ranked the city 47th out of 50 metros in affordability.
Miami first responders fare slightly better in the Trulia study. Firefighters, patrol officers, and police are able to afford 23 percent. That's down 7.4 percentage points as wages for the group climbed just 3.8 percent.
"This year we revisit our report that examined how many homes on the market doctors, teachers, first responders and restaurant workers could afford," report author Cheryl Young writes. "The news is discouraging. Workers in these roles are finding it even harder to live in the communities they serve."
Trulia defined affordability as having a debt-to-income ratio of 31% or less, which means one's monthly payment on housing would take up no more than 31% of one's paycheck. They assumed that borrowers can put down a 20% down payment for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage at a 4.44% interest rate.
The Miami metro area includes Broward and Palm Beach counties. Wage figures used in the report were taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics for May 2017. Teachers were defined as elementary, middle and secondary school teachers, and the median income was calculated by taking the average of these sub-categories.
Miami restaurant workers can almost forget about trying to buy a home in the median range. With their median wage at $22,490, they can afford less than 1 percent of Miami homes.
South Florida teachers would be better off in Orlando, where Trulia says teachers can afford 20 percent of median area homes, or Tampa, where they can afford 34 percent. In both metros they'd earn less--but home prices are significantly cheaper there.
In most cities, teachers are worse off than they were a year ago when it comes to being able to buy a home. Trulia found that just eight out of 93 markets nationwide saw home buying affordability increase for educators.
Teachers across the country have been successfully striking for better pay in recent months. On Friday, Arizona teachers returned to class after winning a 20 percent salary bump over three years, plus extra public education funding in the state's budget.
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