In Some Cities, Trulia Finds It’s Now Cheaper to Rent than Own

Metropolitan areas in Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma made a top-10 list of cities where renting is cheaper than home buying, according to the results of a new study of the 50 largest US cities by online real estate marketplace Trulia. “At the peak of the real estate bubble, cities like Miami, Phoenix and Las Vegas were not affordable for many. Now the opposite is true,” said Pete Flint, co-founder and CEO of “Home sellers in these hard hit areas are forced to lower their prices to compete with all the foreclosures on the market. As a result, these unattainable markets are so affordable it makes better financial sense to buy than rent.” The top areas where house prices worked out to be more expensive than renting were New York, Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco. Omaha, Neb., Oklahoma City, Okla., and Kansas City, Mo. also cracked the top-10 list. “We’re not suggesting that it’s unwise to buy in these areas though — just that it’s significantly more expensive than renting. In many of these cities, even though home buying is much more costly than renting, prices are still much lower than they have been in a long, long time,” Flint said. The top areas where owning is less expensive than renting included Minneapolis, Miami, Fresno, Calif. and two cities in Texas — Arlington and San Antonio. Phoenix, Ariz. and Las Vegas also made the top-10 list of the buyer-friendly areas. Trulia compared the average list price to the average rent on two-bedroom apartments, condos and townhomes listed on its website. Homeownership prices included mortgage principal and interest, property taxes, hazard insurance, closing costs and homeowner association dues. Trulia also included offsets such as tax advantages of homeownership and closing cost deductions. Write to Jon Prior.

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