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Homeownership Is Becoming the More Affordable Option in Most Housing Markets

Housing Markets

Homeownership Is Becoming the More Affordable Option in Most Housing Markets

Housing prices are high all around, but low mortgage rates, rising wages, and home-equity wealth are giving buyers an edge over renters

January 27, 2022
Homeowner mortgage

Though home prices are reaching unprecedented highs across the country, buying is still more affordable than renting in 58% of U.S. housing markets, according to The Washington Post. Home sales prices increased nationwide by 18.1% year-over-year from November 2020 to November 2021, but rising wages and low mortgage rates offer a degree of affordability that record-breaking rental increases cannot provide.

In areas like Washington D.C., Lost Angeles, Chicago, and Phoenix, renting is still more affordable than buying, particularly as renters benefit from rising wages that outpace rent growth. The South and Midwest offer the best rental markets, though cities like Houston and San Antonio are more affordable for home buyers.

Buying is more affordable than renting in the following areas with a population of 1 million or more: Houston, San Antonio, Detroit, Philadelphia and Tampa.

Renters appear to benefit most from rising wages. In most markets (55 percent of those analyzed by Attom), wage growth is outpacing rent growth. But median home prices are rising faster than wage growth in 88 percent of housing markets.

The 50 most affordable markets for renting, according to Attom, include 43 in the South and Midwest, while the least affordable markets for renting are in the West. Similarly, the most affordable markets for home-buying are in the South and Midwest, with the least affordable for buying in the West and Northeast.

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