Renting is more affordable than buying a home in Charlotte and Sarasota counties, according to ATTOM Data Solutions’ 2019 Rental Affordability Report.

“The American dream of owning a home, may be just that — a dream,” said spokesperson for ATTOM Data Solutions, Jennifer von Pohlmann.

And for Florida, this is a new occurrence.

For the past two years, it has been more affordable to buy a home than rent in Charlotte County.

Even most of the state’s homes were more affordable to buy than rent, but that all changed this year, according to the report.

This year more than half, or 25 out of 41 of the Florida counties included in the study, have homes that are more affordable to rent than buy, including Sarasota and Charlotte counties.

Renting in Sarasota County, however, has been more affordable for the past three years than buying, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.

And even though renting is still more affordable in Charlotte and Sarasota counties, it’s still expensive — amounting to about 45 percent of the average wage in each area, according to the study.

Housing, regardless of renting or buying, is considered affordable when the total cost of housing, including utilities, is no more than 30 percent of the occupant’s income, Charlotte County Human Services director Carrie Hussey said recently.

With the average annual salary in Charlotte County being $38,131, residents shouldn’t have to spend more than $953.28 per month on housing, the Sun reported in August.

The average three-bedroom rent in Charlotte County is $1,462 a month, and $1,714 in Sarasota County. Each average rent rose over $100 since the previous year, according to ATTOM’s report.

There are many local groups that see a housing crisis existing in our area, including the Charlotte County Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, which reviews the local government’s existing plans, policies, and regulations on affordable housing.

The committee submits a report to local government and the Florida Housing Finance Corporation — which was created by the Legislature to help improve affordable housing. The committee recommends ways to improve the amount of affordable housing in the area.

This report is due in December of 2019, according to the committee’s chair, Jim Kelley. They will be working on this throughout the year.

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The Study: A Run-Down

Sarasota County Charlotte County Florida Average
2019 3-Bedroom Rent $1,714 $1,462 $1,538
2018 3-Bedroom Rent $1,578 $1,326 $1,443
2019 Median Home Price $253,625 $202,000 $235,827
2018 Median Home Price $243,000 $181,000 $219,228
2019 Home Affordability 49.10% 46.6% 47.4%
2019 Rental Affordability 45.40% 45.60% 43.10%

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