Mapping Out Where it's Better to Rent or Buy in the U.S.

January 12, 2018
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Attom Data Solutions' latest rental affordability report says that in 54 percent of the nation's housing markets, it's cheaper to buy than rent. However, the population data show 64 percent of Americans live in markets where it is more affordable to rent than buy. 

Daren Blomquist, vice president at Attom, said in a statement that, “As home price appreciation continues to outpace rental growth in most areas, renting has clearly become the lesser of two housing affordability evils." The Huffington Post reports that median home prices rose faster than average fair-market rents in over half of the counties analyzed in the report, including Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange counties in California; Cook County, Illinois; and Miami-Dade County, Florida.

In the study, rental affordability was determined from the average fair market rent for a three-bedroom property as a percentage of the area’s average monthly wage. Homebuying affordability was determined from the monthly housing payment for a median-priced home (based on a 3 percent down payment and including mortgage, property tax, homeowner’s insurance and private mortgage insurance) as a percentage of the average monthly wage.

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