Are you thinking of somewhere to live in Florida? Daytona Beach is one of the likely places that’ll come up. This is due to the low cost of living that has made it one of the most affordable places in the state. But why is Daytona beach so cheap?
The cost of living in Daytona is 12% below the national average, and housing is lower. This is due to reasons like its weak economy, low tax rates, high poverty rate, the prevalence of crimes, the distance between it and major cities, the presence of many rundown areas, and status as a tourist town.
Regardless of the various issues that make it affordable, the city isn’t bad and still has safe parts, even if they’re slightly more expensive. Here, we discuss why Daytona Beach is so cheap.
Reasons For the Low Cost of Living in Daytona Beach
Several factors contribute to the low cost of living in Daytona. They include:
1. Several Rundown Neighborhoods
One of the major reasons for the low cost of living here is that many of the housing and commercial spaces here are in bad condition. Most of Daytona itself is old and rundown. The nice homes here are few and far apart. It’s only in the newer developments and expensive ones that you can find great homes.
Areas such as South Daytona, Ormond Beach, Port Orange, and Daytona Beach Shores all have nice homes. The area between Holly Hill and Daytona Beach is generally considered a rough area. However, the major issue is the drunks and homeless in these parts.
2. Distance From Major Cities
Another reason for the low cost is that it’s not close to any of the major cities in the state. Unlike cities close to Miami and Tampa, Daytona beach is too far out to be a bedroom community for those working in the major parts of the city. So, anyone moving here is likely planning to stay and work here.
3. Weak Economy
The only things the city has going for it are the sunny weather and the beaches. This makes tourism the major industry here. Since tourism is seasonal and usually low-paying, not many people move here looking for jobs. The employment market here isn’t so good, with most jobs being seasonal depending on the tourist activities currently happening at that period. Healthcare is one of the major employers of labor here. That’s understandable given the older population in the city and the influx of people during the events held here.
Most of those who move here are retirees who want to enjoy the sun and young people working remotely. In addition, several homes here have seasonal residents who only come here for vacation. All of these ensure that the demand for housing is low, thereby keeping the prices low too.
4. Tax rate
Due to Florida not having a state income tax, residents here have a lower tax burden. The sales tax in the city is also the same as it is all over the state, again 6.5%. Property tax is fairly low at around 0.92%. Since most of the homes here are cheap, the property tax burden is fairly low too.
5. High Poverty Rate
The city’s poverty rate of 20.5% is very high by all standards. The median household income here is $38,686, while the per capita income as of 2020 was $24,292. As a result, it’s common to find the homeless and beggars almost everywhere you go.
6. High Prevalence of Crimes
However, the total crime rate is 75% above the national average. This is mostly because of the violent crimes here, which are a whopping 167% higher than the national average. Property crime is equally 56% higher. Although the crime rate has been reducing, the city is only safer than 4% of cities in the US which is very low by all standards. The chance of becoming a crime victim in Daytona Beach is 1 in 25.
7. Tourist Town
Daytona is a small city with an overall population of less than 70,00. That’s far less than the number of tourists that come here. The Daytona 500 alone sees about 250,000 people in the city. Daytona is popular for its hardpacked sand beaches that allow cars to move on them. With close to 24 miles of the beach area, the area has been holding beach races for over 50 years. Many Motorsport events are held here, such as Speedweek, Coke Zero Sugar 400, Daytona 500, Biketoberfest, Rolex 24, and Bike Week.
All the activities that happen here throughout the year make some part of its super rowdy and increase criminal activity. There’s a general lack of desire among people to live in tourist towns. Especially one like Daytona with a poor economy. While the housing market is quite average, the renters’ market is growing.
Living in Daytona
The cost of living here is fairly low, with 12% below the national average. Home prices contribute significantly to this as it is 31% lower than the national average. But other expenses are also slightly cheaper here compared to the national average. Of course, not everyone thinks Daytona is cheap. Long-term residents of the city believe it’s very expensive.
If you’re looking for an affordable home overlooking a beach, you’re unlikely to find many places that offer the prices you’ll find on Daytona beach. According to Zillow, the typical cost of homes here is $258,082. That’s a 32.7% rise in value since the same period last year. The city has both mainland and island areas divided by the Halifax River, with homes on the island generally more expensive.
The city is a great place to invest in real estate, especially for those who want to flip property. There are many old houses here in need of renovation. With a proper renovation, they could become premium spots for the growing population of Daytona beach. Although housing prices have increased significantly in recent years, it’s still affordable compared with other areas in Florida or America.
Due to the city’s location, it’s less prone to weather disasters such as hurricanes. But since it’s Florida, the chances are still there. Winter here is quite warm, but the summer can be very hot. Temperature by April is already mid-80s and can climb higher until October, peaking in July.
Daytona Beach is quite affordable, and this is due to several factors that have kept demand in the city low. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have expensive parts. Even though it’s cheap, there are still things that anyone moving has to worry about, such as the crime rate.