®: Now is the Time to Buy

May 28, 2015

Purchasing a home right now could help potential buyers save more than $200,000 over the next 30 years, according to the inaugural Opportunity Cost Report released today by This report attempts to show in dollars and cents the cost of delaying purchasing a home in 382 housing markets throughout in the United States.

In compiling this report, Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for® weighed many factors, including the long-term financial impact of owning versus renting, the amount estimated that renters will lose in waiting to buy, and the financial benefits of homeownership by market.

Interest rates, home prices, and the cost of rent are all predicted to go up throughout the year, which will impact the decision to delay purchasing a home, the report notes.

"Current market conditions give buyers the opportunity to build substantial wealth in the long-term, compared with renters and later buyers, in advance of  the projected increase in mortgage rates and continuing price appreciation," says Smoke.  "The problem is inventory is low, which has many would-be home buyers –especially first timers – standing on the sidelines and missing out on potentially material financial gains."

So what does this estimated long-term wealth gain really look like? Smoke reports that while some housing markets are more buyer-friendly than others, nationally the average buyer is set to gain $217,726 over a 30-year period based on today's dollars. Additionally, in 88 percent of metro areas, the financial benefit of buying a home right now accumulates at least $100,000 over 30 years.

"This analysis looks solely at the financial reasons to buy a home, based on assumptions about rising mortgage rates and changes in home values," says Smoke. "It's important to remember that a home purchase decision is deeply personal. Potential buyers need to consider factors such as upcoming life events, job security and potential relocation, in addition to financial benefits, because they too can have a significant impact on ownership."

These are the 10 markets with long-term wealth gains exceeding $500,000

  1. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif.: $1,006,413
  2. Santa Rosa, Calif.: $883,068
  3. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.: $782,144
  4. Urban Honolulu, Hawaii: $714,748
  5. Napa, Calif.: $712,192
  6. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo.: $696,131
  7. Salinas, Calif.: $553,158
  8. San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.: $518,382
  9. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, Calif.: $510,719
  10. Fairbanks, Alaska.: $507,368