For people who are willing to stay put for a few years, buying a home has become a much better deal than renting in almost every major housing market in the nation.
In more than 75% of the 200 metro areas analyzed by real estate listing web site Zillow, homeowners would reach a "breakeven point" — where owning the home makes better financial sense than renting it — in three years or less.
"Historic levels of affordability make buying a home a better decision than ever, especially considering rents have risen more than 5% over the past year," said Stan Humphries, chief economist for Zillow.
The survey was Zillow's first buy-versus-rent analysis, incorporating all homeownership costs, including down payments, closing costs, mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities and maintenance costs, and compared them to rental costs. It also took into account projected home price appreciation and rent increases, as well as tax deductions and inflation.
Zillow's findings support other reports that show that rising rents, record-low mortgage rates and falling home prices have made homeownership a more attractive option.
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