Is Buying Still More Affordable Than Renting?

Home prices have been increasing for a while now. And, with for-sale inventory still well below normal levels, they'll likely continue to increase. So it'd be easy to get the impression that buying a home in 2021 would be far more expensive than renting a home. But, according to ATTOM Data Solutions' newly released 2021 Rental Affordability Report, owning a median-priced three-bedroom home is still more affordable than renting a three-bedroom home in 63 percent of the counties included in the report. And that's despite the fact that home prices have increased faster than rent in 83 percent of those counties over the past year. Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM, says low mortgage rates are the difference. “Amazingly low mortgage rates … are helping to keep the cost of rising home prices in check,” Teta said. “It's startling to see that kind of trend. But it shows how both the cost of renting has been relatively high compared to the cost of ownership and how declining interest rates are having a notable impact on the housing market and homeownership.” (source)

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