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Buying Cheaper than Renting in 48% of Markets

By: Kelly Leighton on in

Despite a record high median home sales price, buying a starter home is less expensive than renting in nearly half of markets, realtor.com® found.

Pittsburgh was named one of the most affordable places in the country to buy instead of rent. There, buying a starter home compared to renting is 27.7% cheaper or $315 a month less. The median rent for the area is $1,376, compared to a monthly homeownership cost of $995. Rents are up 8.3% compared to last year, while home prices are up 18.9%.

“It appears that our market in Pittsburgh has cooled off from the hectic pace of spring and early summer,” said PAR Treasurer Preston Moore. “Sales per month have been increasing since February and reached a peak in June, while both July and August sales have declined. Sales are down, new listings are down and bidding wars are also down, but our buyers are not out of the woods. Sellers are adjusting prices, but it appears that our buyers are on vacation. Maybe activity will pick up in the fall after schools start, but an uptick in the pandemic might put a damper on that. Let’s hope all is well going forward.”

While home prices have been on the rise, so have rent prices, as the report found that rents are up nearly 10% year over year across the U.S. Starter homes are more affordable than the national median home price by more than $100,000, at $192,000 compared to $297,000.

In Philadelphia, it is 9.2% cheaper to buy a starter home than to rent, even though rents have only gone up 3.5% year over year, a starter home will save consumers close to $150 a month compared to renting.

How Student Loan Debt Is Impacting Buyers

Twenty-nine percent of respondents with student loan debt reported it has impacted their ability to purchase a home, while 15% said it has limited their ability to rent alone or change their living circumstances.

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