Mortgage Blog

Renting vs. Buying for Millennials

First Time Home Buyers

According to the latest data from Trulia, buying a home is still much cheaper than renting.  In fact, not only is it 36% more reasonable on a national basis, but it's more cost-effective in all 100 metro areas surveyed by the firm. However, what's behind those numbers, and for whom is it cheaper to buy than rent? For the national report, Trulia economists note that those figures assume a 20% down payment and a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.  What does that mean for Millennials, often saddled with student debt and just starting their careers?  Many would scoff at the notion of a 20% down payment, long the mortgage finance standard.  So, Trulia's number-crunchers took a different approach to see if buying is a better deal than renting for those younger households (ages 25-34).  According to the U.S. Census Bureau and a Trulia poll of millennials, 62% report only scraping together enough for a 10% down payment.  


With that in mind, Trulia reran the buy vs. rent numbers and found that, nationally, buying a home is approximately 23% cheaper than renting; that holds up in 98 of 100 metro areas as well.  The outlier metros are Silicon Valley and Honolulu, where millennials might be better off renting.  While the range is wide - 11% cheaper in New York to 42% in Houston, millennials will find a better deal of buying than renting even in most high-end markets.  That includes Orange County, CA (5% cheaper); San Francisco (7%); New York (11%).  However, the best deals for millennials can be found in the South and Midwest, where buying beats renting by large margins:

Houston, TX (46% cheaper to  buy) Baton Rouge, LA (45%) Fort Lauderdale, FL (44%) Oklahoma City, OK (42%) Detroit, MI (42%)

Check out the full Rent vs. Buy cost considerations for the 100 largest metro areas.  Trulia even goes back in time to see which metros were most favorable (for purchase) back in 2012.  Click here for more.