Buying More Affordable than Renting in 58 Percent of U.S. Markets

RealtyTrac released its 2016 Rental Affordability Analysis which shows that buying is still more affordable than renting in 58 percent of U.S. housing markets despite home price appreciation outpacing rent growth in 55 percent of markets. The report also shows that the rise in rents is outpacing weekly wage growth in 57 percent of markets.

Rents on three-bedroom properties will increase an average of 3.5 percent in 2016 compared to 2015 across all 504 counties analyzed, according to the HUD data. Meanwhile, average weekly wages in the second quarter of 2015 (the most recent wage data available) were up an average of 2.6 percent from a year ago and median home prices were up an average of 5 percent in the third quarter of 2015 compared to a year ago across all 504 counties.

Across all 504 counties analyzed, average wage earners will need to spend 37 percent of their income on rents for a three-bedroom property in 2016, slightly less than the 38 percent of income to make monthly house payments — assuming a 3 percent down payment and including mortgage, taxes, insurance and mortgage insurance — on a median priced home on average across all 504 counties.

Renting was more affordable than buying in 213 of the 504 counties analyzed (42 percent), including counties in Los Angeles, Houston, San Diego, New York City (Brooklyn), and Dallas. Buying was more affordable than renting in 291 counties (58 percent) including counties in Chicago, Phoenix, Miami, the Inland Empire of Southern California, Las Vegas, and Detroit.

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