Despite national rents clocking in at well over $1,400, in most of America’s largest housing markets renting is still more affordable than buying.
A new analysis from ATTOM Data Solutions shows that renting a three-bedroom property is more affordable than buying a median-priced home in 37 of the nation’s 40 biggest counties.
Taking into account average wages, home price appreciation and rent growth, even high-priced markets like Los Angeles, Seattle and New York City are more affordable for renters than homebuyers.
The only three major counties where buying a home is the better option are Wayne County, Michigan (where the median home sale came in at just $89,000 last year); Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania; and Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
More than three-quarters of the counties analyzed also saw home price growth outpace wages last year.
Home prices are also rising faster than rents in 70% of housing markets. The average across all 80 counties was a 6.7% uptick in home prices over the year, with just a 3.5% jump in average rents. According to ATTOM’s findings, home price growth is outpacing rent growth significantly in Cook County (Illinois), Harris County (Texas) and Maricopa County (Arizona) and Kings County (New York).
The analysis doesn’t even take into account mortgage rates—which rose more than 60 basis points across 2018 and are expected to rise as high as 5.8% this year. As ATTOM’s Jennifer von Pohlmann succinctly puts it, “Renting a home is clearly becoming the more attractive option in this volatile housing market.”