Home prices are rising across the nation to levels not seen since before the housing crisis and yet, it’s still cheaper to buy than rent, according to a new study by online real estate listing service Trulia.
Buying a home is 37.7% cheaper than renting on a national basis for those who move every seven years and place 20% down. This is even more affordable than last year’s 37.2%.
Buying is becoming more affordable than renting even while the median home prices continues to rise. The median existing home price increased 5.6% annually for all housing types in September to $234,200, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Buying is actually cheaper than renting in all 100 of the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S.
How much cheaper ranges from 20% in Honolulu and San Francisco to 50% in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
While the Fed may raise interest rates this year, rising home prices actually pose a larger threat to affordability. In order to wipe out the financial advantage of buying, mortgage rates would need to more than double, according to the report. On the other hand, prices would need to increase 67%.
In areas like San Jose, California, prices would only need to increase 24%, and rates would have to increase by 45% for buying to cost the same as renting.
Mortgage rates increased this week to pre-Brexit levels, however they still remain historically low.
Some members of the Federal Open Market Committee expressed concern over the prolonged low interest rates, and pointed towards a possible rate hike in December.
This chart shows how much interest rates would need to increase for renting to become more affordable:
Click to Enlarge