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Renting home more affordable than buying in 59 percent of U.S. housing markets

Staff Writer |
ATTOM Data Solutions released its 2019 Rental Affordability Report, which shows that renting a three-bedroom property is more affordable than buying a median-priced home in 442 of 755 U.S. counties analyzed for the report — 59 percent.

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The analysis incorporated recently released fair market rent data for 2019 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics along with public record sales deed data from ATTOM Data Solutions in 755 U.S. counties with sufficient home sales data (see full methodology below).

Renting is more affordable than buying a home in the nation's 18 most populated counties and in 37 of 40 counties with a population of 1 million or more (93 percent) — including Los Angeles County, California; Cook County (Chicago), Illinois; Harris County (Houston), Texas; Maricopa County (Phoenix), Arizona; and San Diego County, California.

Other markets with a population of more than 1 million where it is more affordable to rent than to buy a home included counties in Miami, New York City, Seattle, Las Vegas, San Jose, San Francisco and Boston.

Among the 40 U.S. counties analyzed in the report with a population of 1 million or more, the three where it is more affordable to buy a home than rent were Wayne County (Detroit), Michigan; Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania; and Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), Ohio.

The report shows that renting a three-bedroom property requires an average of 38.0 percent of weekly wages across the 755 counties analyzed for the report.

The least affordable markets for renting are Santa Cruz County, California (81.7 percent of average wages to rent); Honolulu County, Hawaii (74.4 percent); Spotsylvania County, Virginia (73.0 percent); Maui County, Hawaii (69.5 percent); San Benito County, California (68.6 percent); Monroe County, Florida (67.3 percent); Sonoma County (Santa Rosa area), California (66.0 percent); Marin County (San Francisco area), California (65.6 percent); and Kings County, New York (63.7 percent).

The most affordable markets for renting are Roane County (Knoxville area), Tennessee (19.7 percent of average wages to rent); Peoria County, Illinois (23.8 percent); Mcminn County (Athens), Tennessee (23.8 percent); Green County (Dayton), Ohio (24.2 percent); and Rhea County (Dayton area), Ohio (24.6 percent).

Among counties with a population of 1 million or more, those most affordable for renting are Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania (25.1 percent); Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), Ohio (25.6 percent); Saint Louis County, Missouri (26.4 percent); Oakland County (Detroit area), Michigan (26.7 percent); and Wayne County (Detroit), Michigan (27.7 percent).

Average fair market rents rose faster than average weekly wages in 394 of the 755 counties analyzed in the report (52 percent), including Los Angeles County, California; Cook County (Chicago), Illinois; Harris County (Houston), Texas; Maricopa County (Phoenix), Arizona; and San Diego County, California.

Average weekly wages rose faster than average fair market rents in 361 of the 755 counties analyzed in the report (48 percent), including Kings County (Brooklyn), New York; Queens County, New York; Clark County (Las Vegas), Nevada; Tarrant County (Dallas-Fort Worth), Texas; Santa Clara (San Jose), California; Broward County (Miami), Florida; and Alameda (San Francisco), California.

Median home prices rose faster than average weekly wages in 601 of the 755 counties analyzed in the report (80 percent), including Los Angeles County, California; Cook County (Chicago), Illinois; Harris County (Houston), Texas; Maricopa County (Phoenix), Arizona; San Diego County, California; Orange County, California; and Miami-Dade County, Florida.

Average weekly wages rose faster than median home prices in 154 of the 755 counties analyzed in the report (20 percent), including Kings County (Brooklyn), New York; Queens County, New York; King County (Seattle), Washington; Suffolk County, New York; and Bronx County, New York.

Median home prices rose faster than average fair market rents in 531 of the 755 counties analyzed in the report, including Cook County (Chicago), Illinois; Harris County (Houston), Texas; Maricopa County (Phoenix), Arizona; Kings County (Brooklyn), New York; Queens County, New York; and Riverside County, California.

Average fair market rents rose faster than median home prices in 224 of the 755 counties analyzed in the report (30 percent), including Los Angeles County, California; San Diego County, California; Orange County, California; Miami-Dade County, Florida; Dallas County, Texas; and Kings County (Seattle), Washington.


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