- Historically, the choice between renting or buying a home has been a tough decision.
- Looking at the percentage of income needed to rent a median-priced home today (29.2%) vs. the percentage needed to buy a median-priced home (15.8%), the choice becomes obvious.
- Every market is different. Before you renew your lease again, find out if you can put your housing costs to work by buying this year!
The TRUTH Behind the RENT vs. BUY Debate
In a blog post published last Friday, CNBC’s Diana Olnick reported on the latest results of the FAU Buy vs. Rent Index. The index examines the entire US housing market and then isolates 23 major markets for comparison. The researchers at FAU use a “‘horse race’ comparison between an individual that is buying a home and an individual that rents a similar-quality home and reinvests all monies otherwise invested in homeownership.” Buy Real Estate
Having read both the index and the blog post, we would like to clear up any confusion that may exist. There are three major points that we would like to counter:
1. The Title
The CNBC blog post was titled, “Don’t put your money in a house, says a new report.” The title of the press release about the report on FAU’s website was “FAU Buy vs. Rent Index Shows Rising Prices and Mortgage Rates Moving Housing Markets in the Direction of Renting.” Buy Real Estate
Now, we all know headlines can attract readers and the stronger the headline the more readership you can attract, but after dissecting the report, this headline may have gone too far. The FAU report notes that rising home prices and the threat of increasing mortgage rates could make the decision of whether to rent or to buy a harder one in three metros, but does not say not to buy a home. Buy Real Estate
2. Mortgage Interest Rates are Rising
According to Freddie Mac, mortgage interest rates reached their lowest mark of 2017 last week at 3.89%. Interest rates have hovered around 4% for the majority of 2017, giving many buyers relief from rising home prices and helping with affordability.
While experts predict that rates will increase by the end of 2017, the latest projections have softened, with Freddie Macpredicting that rates will rise to 4.3% in Q4. Buy Property in Downers Grove
3. “Renting may be a better option than buying, according to the report.”
Buying Is Now 33.1% Cheaper Than Renting in the US
The results of the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia show that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States. Buy Real Estate
The updated numbers actually show that the range is an average of 3.5% less expensive in San Jose (CA), all the way up to 50.1% less expensive in Baton Rouge (LA), and 33.1% nationwide! Buy Real Estate
Other interesting findings in the report include:
- Interest rates have remained low and, even though home prices have appreciated around the country, they haven’t greatly outpaced rental appreciation. Buy Real Estate
- With rents & home values moving in tandem, shifts in the ‘rent vs. buy’ decision are largely driven by changes in mortgage interest rates. Buy Real Estate
- Nationally, rates would have to reach 9.1%, a 128% increase over today’s average of 4.0%, for renting to be cheaper than buying. Rates haven’t been that high since January of 1995, according to Freddie Mac. Buy Real Estate