The Highs and Lows of Rental Prices in America

January 11, 2019
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Photo: Unsplash/Victor Zamora

Home price appreciation may be slowing down, but not enough to make it less affordable than buying a home, according to new research from ATTOM Data Solutions.

In its 2019 Rental Affordability Report, ATTOM finds that it's less expensive to rent a three-bedroom home than to buy one in 59 percent of U.S. housing markets, and home prices are appreciating faster than rents in 70 percent of the nation's markets. Relative to buying, renting a three-bedroom home was found to be most affordable in Roane County, Tenn. outside of Knoxville and home to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where renters will spend an average 19.7 percent of their income on housing. The least affordable rental market in the study, relative to buying, was Detroit's Wayne County, Mich., Philadelphia County, Penn., and Cuyahoga County, Ohio, reports.

"The American Dream of owning a home may be just that—a dream," ATTOM spokeswoman Jennifer von Pohlmann said in a statement. “Home price appreciation [is] increasing annually at an average of 6.7 percent in those counties analyzed for this report and rental rates [are] increasing an average of 3.5 percent."

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