Zillow – In Most of U.S., Buying Beats Renting After Only Three Years

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on August 5, 2012

News release: “For most buyers who intend to live in a home for at least three years, buying is a better financial decision than renting, according to a new analysis by Zillow. Zillow analyzed the “breakeven horizon” in more than 200 metros and 7,500 U.S. cities to determine how many years it would take before owning a home becomes more financially advantageous than renting the same home. In more than three-quarters (75 percent) of metros analyzed, a homeowner would break even after three years or less of owning a home. All possible costs associated with buying and renting were incorporated into the analysis, including down payment, mortgage and rental payments, transaction costs, property taxes, utilities, maintenance costs, tax deductions and opportunity costs, while adjusting for inflation and forecasted home value and rental price appreciation[i]. In some metro areas where home values fell dramatically during the housing recession, homebuyers break even after less than two years of owning a home. The Miami-Ft. Lauderdale metro is among the most favorable for buying, with homeowners breaking even after only 1.6 years of living in the home. However, in the San Jose metro, where home values are among the highest in the nation, a buyer must commit to living in their home for 8.3 years before they will break even.”

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