Where Buying Beats Out Renting the Most

August 4, 2016

More renters squeezed out by high rental payments may find that home ownership can be a more affordable option.

A new study by the National Association of REALTORS® finds several metro areas where renters earn enough to qualify to buy a home. Plus, with mortgage rates hovering near all-time lows, renters may find now is the perfect time to make their move into home ownership.

Overall, housing affordability and the strength of the local job market can play a “pivotal role” in a renter’s decision on whether to buy a home or sign another lease to rent, according to NAR. The association recently reviewed employment growth, household income, and qualifying income levels in nearly 100 of the largest metro areas nationwide.

They identified the areas with employment gains above the national average that also have the largest share of renters who can afford to buy a home.

The top markets with the highest share of renters qualified to buy are all located in the Midwest and South, since home prices tend to be more affordable in those regions, NAR noted.

NAR identified the following 10 markets as having the highest share of renters who qualify to buy:

  1. Toledo, Ohio: 46%
  2. Little Rock, Ark.: 46%
  3. Dayton, Ohio: 44%
  4. Lakeland, Fla.: 41%
  5. St. Louis, Mo.: 41%
  6. Columbia, S.C.: 41%
  7. Atlanta: 40%
  8. Columbus, Ohio: 38%
  9. Tampa, Fla.: 38%
  10. Ogden, Utah: 38%

By REALTOR® Magazine