nytimes – Renting costs less than buying, almost everywhere

Rent or buy? For those with a choice, there is a lot to consider. Renting doesn’t tie you down nor does it require a huge down payment. On the other hand, buying can be a profitable long-term investment with tax advantages. And let’s not underestimate the peace of mind that comes with knowing your home won’t be ripped off your feet by a homeowner.

The choice, however, is almost always a question of money, and in today’s seller’s market the lack of available housing and soaring prices have stalled many aspiring buyers. The flip side has been falling rents, especially in cities, where landlords are struggling to fill a record number of vacant apartments by offering rent cuts and concessions. Although rents are showing signs of picking up, it’s still a good time to sign a lease.

A recent study by LendingTree found that median housing costs were lower for renters than for homeowners with a mortgage in the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States. The biggest difference between the median rent and the median cost of owning a home with a mortgage was in New York City, at $ 1,363 per month. San Francisco and San Jose, Calif., Were next, with a rent-to-own gap exceeding $ 1,000.

To reach its conclusions, LendingTree compared median rents and mortgage costs of housing using Census Bureau data. This week’s chart shows the 10 metropolitan areas with the largest and smallest differences in housing costs for renters and landlords.

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