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Cheaper to Buy a Home than Rent

Is your rent in Central Florida too high? You may be better off buying a house next year, according to a new report from RealtyTrac Inc.

Metro Orlando joins 58 percent of U.S. housing markets where buying is more affordable than renting, even though home sale prices are rising faster than rental rates in 55 percent of those markets, the RealtyTrac 2016 Rental Affordability Analysis showed.Orlando among top U.S. markets where it’s cheaper to buy a home than rent

Homeowners in the Orlando area spent an average of 35.4 percent of their wages on housing, while renters coughed up an average of 43.4 percent, the RealtyTrac data showed. The rule of thumb for years has been that monthly housing costs shouldn’t exceed 28 percent of gross monthly income.

Here’s a closer look by county at what percentage of Central Floridians’ wages went toward their home mortgage or rental costs in 2015:

  • Orange County: Home 32.8 percent, rent 38.2 percent
  • Seminole County: Home 34.6 percent, rent 39.2 percent
  • Osceola County: Home 35.5 percent, rent 47.3 percent
  • Lake County: Home 38.5 percent, rent 48.8 percent

“Renters in 2016 will be caught between a bit of a rock and a hard place, with rents becoming less affordable as they rise faster than wages, but home prices rising even faster than rents,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac. “In markets where home prices are still relatively affordable, 2016 may be a good time for some renters to take the plunge into homeownership before rising prices and possibly rising interest rates make it increasingly tougher to afford to buy a home.”

See the full RealtyTrac report and check out more data below in the interactive charts.

The analysis included rental data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, wage figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and public record sales collected by RealtyTrac in 504 counties with a population of at least 100,000.

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