Trulia: Homeownership is nearly 45 percent more affordable than renting

September 14th, 2012

Owning a home can save transferees more money in most cities than renting.

When transferees are relocating to a new city or state for an extended period of time, the question of whether to rent or buy is common. Favorable mortgage rates, tax deductions and affordable home prices may make homeownership more feasible.

According to Trulia's Summer 2012 Rent vs. Buy Index, owning a home is now an average of 45 percent cheaper than renting an apartment in all 100 metropolitan areas included in the poll. However, the study also noted that affordability continued to vary widely by location, with Boston, New York and San Francisco still imposing higher homeownership and renting costs than other locations across the country.

"Despite the recent price rebound, rents continue to rise faster than prices, and mortgage rates are near record lows," said Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko. "Homeownership makes the most financial sense for people whose strong credit scores let them snag the lowest mortgage rate and who get the biggest benefit from deducting mortgage interest and property taxes from their income taxes."

Transferees who are on the fence about renting and buying should consider speaking with a mortgage consultant and researching apartments to analyze prices, amenities, proximity to work, school districts and other influential factors.