Tough Times for Renters

Finding an affordable lease this year may be a bit of a challenge to renters, according to Trulia. The data collected showed the price of rent has outpaced average wage in 25 U.S. metro areas. In order to be considered “affordable," rent should not be more than 30 percent of a household’s income. However, in 15 metro areas, rent for a two-bedroom apartment exceeds this threshold. In Miami, as much as 60 percent of a renter’s wage is used toward rent.

The outlook is less bleak for homeowners who, since the recession, have actually seen housing affordability improve. Some cities have tried raising minimum wage to offset the imbalance. Others, like Los Angeles, have their work cut out for them. Approximately half a million new units need to be added to keep up with the demand in L.A. 


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Nick Banks

Nick created Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group in 2002 and spent the first eight years developing and acquiring office and retail projects in South Florida as well as North Central Florida. In 2010 the focus of the firm was shifted to primarily serve third party clients and perform brokerage, property management and mortgage banking functions. Nick has personally developed and acquired nearly 200,000 square feet of office and retail properties in markets throughout Florida. Prior to founding Front Street, Nick was the Director of Finance and Dispositions for Stiles Corporation in Fort Lauderdale where he financed and sold over $500 million in commercial real estate. Before joining Stiles, Nick was an Associate Director at GE Capital Real Estate where he sourced over $200 million in financing throughout Florida. Nick is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Finance and a concentration in Real Estate. He serves as a board member and current vice-chair for the United Way of North Central Florida where he also chairs the Development Committee. Nick is actively involved with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce where he serves as a board member and committee member for the Council for Economic Outreach. He is also a recent graduate of Leadership Gainesville which is a year long leadership program hosted by the Chamber. He is a member of Grace United Methodist Church where he has served as finance chair and as a member of the leadership council. Nick serves as an advisory board member of the University of Florida Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. Nick was recently named chair of the Gainesville committee for the North Florida chapter of Urban Land Institute (ULI). He is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Florida and is a long time member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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