It is more affordable to buy a home than rent one in more than half of markets—but for how long remains uncertain, according to recently released research.
In 54 percent of the over 400 counties analyzed by ATTOM Data Solutions, buying the median-priced home is more affordable than renting a three-bedroom one, according to ATTOM’s 2018 Rental Affordability Report. The biggest counties better for buying are Tarrant County, Texas, home to Dallas; Broward County, Fla., home to Miami; Bexar County, Texas, home to San Antonio; Wayne County, Mich., home to Detroit; and Philadelphia County, Pa.
Big counties in general, however, are better for renters, the research shows.
“Although buying is still more affordable than renting in the majority of U.S. housing markets, that majority is shrinking as home price appreciation continues to outpace rental growth in most areas,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “Renting has clearly become the lesser of two housing affordability evils in many major population centers, with renting more affordable than buying in 76 percent of counties that have a population of one million or more. And when broken down by population rather than number of markets, this data shows that the majority of the U.S. population—64 percent—live in markets that are more affordable to rent than to buy.”
Gains in home prices are exceeding growth in rents in 59 percent of the counties assessed, including Los Angeles County, Calif., Cook County, Ill., and San Diego County, Calif. The contrary is happening in 40 percent of the counties examined, including Harris County, Texas, home to Houston; Maricopa County, Ariz., home to Phoenix; and Kings County, N.Y., or Brooklyn.
Incomes are also lagging rents in 60 percent of counties, including, again, Los Angeles County, Cook County and San Diego County.
Source: ATTOM Data Solutions
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