What the data shows
A new report from real estate data firm ATTOM finds that the average rent for a three-bedroom home is now cheaper than the cost of owning a comparable median-priced home in 95% of the 222 counties analyzed in the study.
That’s the case despite the fact that rent prices rose faster than home prices in about half the country over the past year, ATTOM found.
It’s also a complete reversal from just a year ago — in 2022, ATTOM found that owning a home was more affordable than renting one in 60% of the housing markets it analyzed.
Keep in mind
Real estate dynamics vary widely depending on the local area. While rent and home prices may be rising on a national level, rent or the real estate prices could be falling dramatically in some places.
Data from Zillow shows that home values in Seattle fell 4.8% between November and December alone.
The bottom line
The question of renting versus buying a house is more complicated that it seems. Each option comes with benefits and drawbacks, and those factors will very likely be determined by the housing market in your local area.
They’ll also be determined by your individual circumstances and priorities. Do you plan to live in your home for a long time, or is the flexibility to move more important to you? Are you willing to undertake maintenance and pay property taxes? Do you have extra room in your budget in case your landlord raises the rent?
The answers to these questions could steer you in one direction or another.
Every Saturday, Money dives deep into the world of real estate, offering a fresh take on the latest housing news for homeowners, buyers and daydreamers alike.
More from Money:
© Copyright 2023 Money Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
This article originally appeared on Money.com and may contain affiliate links for which Money receives compensation. Opinions expressed in this article are the author's alone, not those of a third-party entity, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed. Offers may be subject to change without notice. For more information, read Money’s full disclaimer.