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In Most of U.S., Buying Beats Renting after Only Two Years

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new_home_familyIn half of U.S. metros, buying a home is a better financial decision than renting for home buyers who plan to stay in their home for at least two years, according to the first quarter Zillow® breakeven horizon analysis.

Among the 35 largest metro areas analyzed by Zillow in the first quarter, those with the shortest breakeven horizon were Riverside (less than 1 year), Orlando (1 year), Tampa (1.1 years) and Miami- Fort Lauderdale (1.2 years). Large metros with the longest breakeven horizon included Washington DC (4.2 years), Boston (4 years), Phoenix (3.3 years), San Diego (3.2 years), Minneapolis and Baltimore (both 3.1 years).

“Rents keep rising, and mortgage interest rates remain very low, which is helping to skew the rent vs. buy decision toward buying for those who can afford it. Many renters may ask themselves why renew a lease, when you can break even on the same home in less time in many areas,” says Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. “However, some renters still have to overcome significant hurdles before they can pull the trigger on homeownership. For those renters who can’t qualify for a mortgage or aren’t able to save enough for a down payment on a house, renting can be a more flexible, and often far less frustrating option for many people.”

Zillow’s breakeven horizon takes into account all possible costs associated with buying and renting, including upfront payments, closing costs, anticipated monthly rent and mortgage payments, insurance, taxes, utilities and maintenance costs. It then factors in historic and anticipated home value appreciation rates, rental prices and rental appreciation rates to help calculate the point, in years, at which buying becomes less expensive than renting.

For more information, visit www.zillow.com.

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