Florida rent prices: Are they increasing or decreasing?

HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 27: A 'For Sale' sign is posted in front of a single family home on October 27, 2022 in Hollywood, Florida. The rate on the average 30-year fixed mortgage hit 7.08%, up from 6.94% the week prior, according to Freddie Mac.

Rent prices are beginning to ease in large metropolitan areas following the recent crisis that forced many to pay astronomical prices for a place to call home. 

Researchers at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) said that in October, 68 housing markets had smaller average rental rates, up from 38 in September. Places like Springfield, Massachusetts; Austin, Texas; Seattle and New York are some of the areas where rents are falling. The U.S. average rental rate was $2,040, down 0.9 percent from September.

But what about Florida?

Although places in the U.S. are seeing a slowdown in rent prices, rental rates are still elevated in markets like the Cape Coral-Fort Myers area — which saw a year-over-year rental increase of 17.16% and the largest premium of 17.37%. Researchers at FAU describe the premium as the amount above the long-term leasing trend that renters must pay. 

Cape Coral-Fort Myers actually led the U.S. by having the largest premium and rental increase as rent prices typically increase only 3 to 5 percent each year. 

According to the researchers, overall, most areas in Florida are seeing rents decline month-over-month — not Cape Coral-Fort Myers as they saw a 1.76% increase in October. 

"The significant rise in Cape Coral-Fort Myers is very disheartening, though not surprising," said Shelton Weeks, Ph.D., of Florida Gulf Coast University’s Lucas Institute for Real Estate Development & Finance. "The monthly index report is highlighting the ongoing cost of Hurricane Ian. There are signs of a recovery, but affordable housing should remain an issue in this market for months to come."

The average rent in Cape Coral is $2,182.11, but researchers said that number should sit at $1,859.10. 

Jacksonville also saw a hefty increase of 10.06%in premium prices with the average rent now $1,809.64.

The researchers used leasing data from Zillow’s Observed Rental Index to determine existing rents and statistically model historical trends from 2014. The Waller Weeks & Johnson Rental Index covers the entire stock of homes and apartments.