Buy v. Rent/Good Time to Buy?

BUY v. RENT / GOOD TIME TO BUY? - Buying Still More Affordable Than Renting in Most Cities: Report

Posted on Friday, February 4, 2011

Data released Monday by real estate Web site Trulia says even with the current state of the housing and financial market, it is still more affordable to buy a home than rent one.
Trulia’s latest Rent vs. Buy Index studied the 50 largest cities in the United States and found that it is more affordable to buy than to rent a two-bedroom home in 72 percent of the cities.
Based on the guidelines the company used to conduct the survey, only four cities – New York, Seattle, San Francisco, and Kansas City, Missouri – meet or exceed the price-to-rent ratio of 21 that means it is much more expensive to buy than rent in that area.
According to the survey, a price-to-rent ratio of 1-15 means owning a home in that city is much less expensive than renting, and a ratio of 16-20 means the costs of
homeownership exceed the cost of renting, but financially, it might still make sense to buy.
“Since the start of the ‘Great Recession,’ many former homeowners have flooded the rental market. Following the principles of supply and demand, renting has become relatively more expensive than buying in most markets,” said Pete Flint, CEO and co-founder of Trulia.
He continued, “Though necessary for achieving true economic recovery, stricter bank lending practices have also further aggravated the struggling housing market in the short term. Even highly-qualified homebuyers face intense scrutiny on their income, savings, existing debt and credit history before they can get a mortgage loan.”
The San Francisco, California-based Trulia calculated the price-to-rent ratio using the median list price compared with the median rent on two bedroom apartments, condos, and townhomes listed on their Web site.
Cities that were most affordable to buy versus to rent included Miami, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Fresno. Las Angeles, Oakland, and Portland were among those that fell in the 16-20 price-to-rent ratio.
“Although owning a home is relatively more affordable in most cities, market conditions have caused an interesting demographic swap between traditional renters and buyers,” said Tara-Nicholle Nelson, consumer educator for Trulia. “For example, lifelong renters are seizing the opportunity to become homeowners while affordability is high. At the same time, a growing number of long-time homeowners are finding themselves tenants – some by choice and others by necessity.”
By: Joy Leopold, DS NEWS

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