Cheaper to Own House then Rent

Buying a house in Charleston, Mount Pleasant, or even Daniel Island is now cheaper then renting according to a new report from the real estate website Trulia. In virtually every U.S. city it’s better to buy a house then to rent.

“Despite the recent home rebound, rents continue to rise faster then do home prices, and mortgage rates are at record lows,” said J. Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist, in a news release by The Daily.

On average, buying is now 45% cheaper then renting in the 100 largest U.S. cities – a savings of almost $800 a month. With more and more home owners having to leave their homes due to job loss, and a poor economy forces those same people to rent thus increasing the demand for rental properties forcing rent costs upward. Furthermore, mortgage lending is still very tight and less people are qualified to purchase.

These factors result in an almost 5% surge in  rental rates in the past year and a glut of 30 yr mortgages around 3.5 percent. Trulia looked at the average age price of all homes for sale and the average rent of all homes for lease between the beginning of June and the end of Aug. It spread its search from the inner cities to the suburbs. Trulia also baked in various expenses like closing costs, maintenance, renter’s insurance, and taxes.

After the analysis was completed in the winter, it was better to buy in 98 of the top 100 markets including Charleston, South Carolina’s. Purchase mortgage rates have dropped while rents have increased. The study however, is built on some big assumptions, primarily that the hypothetical buyer puts down 20% and qualifies for a great mortgage AND doesn’t sell for 7 years.

With that said, even in a case where the homeowner got just a 4.5% mortgage and only stayed in the home for 5 years, the result was still almost the same. It was cheaper to buy in 96 markets.

Nevertheless, some 6 million properties remain close to foreclosure, and most potential buyers still find it difficult to save up the 20% for down payment. Although there are still loans that only require 3.5% down.

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