Renting still cheaper than buying in nearly 90% of markets: report

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Despite higher costs, renting is still more affordable when compared to buying a home in a majority of markets across the U.S., according to a new report from ATTOM. 

ATTOM’s 2024 Rental Affordability Report, released Thursday, reveals how rents for median three-bedroom spots are more affordable than owning a similarly-sized home in almost 90% of local markets. 

The report also underscored how both options still pose “significant financial burdens for average workers.” According to the data, housing costs still account for over one-third of their wages in the vast majority of county-level housing markets. 

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ATTOM CEO Rob Barber said the increasing home prices are, in fact, contributing to the “escalation of rental costs, making both buying and renting properties a challenging endeavor” regardless of the market. 

However, while rents are growing, they still remain more affordable, Barber said.

According to the report, median rental rates require a smaller portion of average wages when compared with homeownership expenses for three-bedroom properties in 88% of U.S. counties. 

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According to the report, renting is the most affordable in the Midwest and the South. 

Overall, the most affordable county to rent is Jefferson County, in Birmingham, Alabama. In the area, only about 22% of average local wages goes toward rental costs. 

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Following closely behind are three counties in Michigan, including Wayne County (Detroit), Ingham County (Lansing) and Genesee County (Flint). 

Caddo Parish in Shreveport, Louisiana, is also one of the cheapest places to rent. 

Comparatively, the least affordable counties for renting are spread out among the Southern and Western regions of the U.S. These expensive counties include Collier County near Fort Myers, Florida, where 153% of average local wages are needed to cover rent costs. 

Santa Barbara County in California and Monterey County, just outside San Francisco, are also one of the most expensive places to rent, with 131% and 107% of the average local wages needed to cover rent. 

Indian River County in Vero Beach, Florida, and Riverside County, California, will also take a major chunk out of renters budgets, according to the report. 

Read the full article here

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