Nationally, it’s cheaper to buy than rent, but in some markets it's a closer call.
Trulia’s chief economist Jed Kolko says that it is 38 percent cheaper to buy than rent when using a traditional 20 percent down, 30-year mortgage. This is a bigger gap than there was a year ago, because rates have fallen and rents have risen.
But in some markets, like Los Angeles, New York City, and Honolulu, the gap between buying and renting is smaller. But even in these markets, Kolko argues that it isn’t likely for buying to become more expensive than renting, as home price increases are slowing and mortgage rates still remain low.