It's Cheaper To Buy Than Rent a Home In Over Half The U.S. Markets

Jan 30, 2020

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According to Attom Data Solutions’ 2020 Rental Affordability Report, it is now more affordable to own a median-priced, three-bedroom home than to rent one in 53% of the U.S. counties they analyzed. The report was created using 2020 fair market rent data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, plus public record sales deed data obtained by ATTOM Data Solutions for 855 counties with sufficient home sales data.

“Home ownership is a better deal than renting for the average wage earner in a slim majority of U.S. housing markets. However, there are distinct differences between different places, depending on the size and location from core metro areas,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions in a recent press release. “For sure, either buying or renting is a financial stretch or out of reach for individual wage earners throughout most of the country in the current climate. But with interest rates falling, owning a home can still be the more affordable option, even as prices keep rising.”

The study found renting is still more affordable for 69% of the counties that have a population of 500,000 or more; home ownership is more affordable in mostly lower-populated counties.

There are counties with a population of one million or more, where it is more affordable to buy than rent.  Those include Miami-Dade County, FL; Broward County, FL, Wayne County (Detroit), MI; Philadelphia County, PA; Hillsborough County (Tampa), FL; Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), OH and Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), PA. 

Where NASB is headquartered in Kansas City, the results are mixed. It’s cheaper to rent in Johnson County, KS and Platte County, MO, but less expensive to buy in Wyandotte County, KS,  Jackson County, MO, Clay County, MO and Cass County, MO.

The study also found that median home prices rose faster than fair-market rents in 67.3% of the analyzed counties, and median home prices rose more quickly than average weekly wages in 66.3% of the counties.