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Buying is Cheaper than Renting, report says

CHICAGO  — It's much cheaper to buy a home than rent one in 100 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas, according to a report released on Thursday by the real-estate website Trulia.

“Despite the recent (home) price rebound, rents continue to rise faster than (home) prices, and mortgage rates are near record lows," said Jed Kolko, Trulia's chief economist, in a news release. And that's leading to favorable homeownership costs in most corners of the country.

In its analysis, Trulia looked at the average price of all homes for sale and the average rent of all homes for lease on the website between the beginning of June and the end of August. Averages for the metropolitan areas include properties from the inner cities to the suburbs.

The report reflects increased affordability for homeowners compared with the winter, when Trulia last did this analysis. The last time around, it was better to buy in 98 of the top 100 markets, Kolko said. But mortgage rates have dropped since then, and rents have risen faster than home prices.

According to the report released on Thursday, homeownership affordability, compared with renting, was highest in Detroit, where the average cost of owning a home is $349 a month and the average cost of renting one is $1,149 a month.

Other markets where homeownership affordability is high: Gary, Ind.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla.; and Toledo, Ohio.

For homeowners, Trulia assumed a 3.5 percent mortgage rate, itemized deductions at the 25 percent federal tax bracket, and a 7-year time horizon to hold on to the property. It included closing costs, maintenance, insurance and property taxes.

For renters, it included security deposit and renter's insurance.

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