New research from the real estate website Trulia finds that homeownership is less expensive than renting in all of the country’s 100 largest metropolitan areas. The advantage narrows considerably, however, when the home buyer uses a low-down-payment loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration.
Nationally, the average cost of homeownership, including mortgage, insurance, taxes and maintenance, is 38 percent less than the cost of renting, according to the Trulia data. This is an even bigger gap than last year, when Trulia estimated homeownership was 35 percent cheaper.
One reason for the improved buying conditions is that the 30-year fixed interest rate for mortgages has been lower this year than last. And the other, said Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist, is that rents are rising faster than home prices because of strong demand.