The top 10 cities where it makes most sense to buy than rent have the smallest differences between mortgage costs and rent. In most of these places, a monthly mortgage payment is actually cheaper than rent. As the data shows, the difference between mortgage and rental costs varies widely by city. A wide variety of factors influence housing markets.
1. Surprise, Arizona
Located just northwest of Phoenix and home to about 150,000 people, Surprise has the largest net difference between mortgage and rental costs. Rent here averages $192 more than a mortgage per month. Potential homeowners are looking at a median home value of $282,300.
2. Deltona, Florida
Deltona, located northeast of Orlando, has an average monthly mortgage cost of $1,187. Meanwhile, rent here costs $168 more – an average of $1,355. Consequently, homeownership is a popular option, with over 75% of homes owner-occupied. Residents have about a half hour drive to the coast.
3. Palm Bay, Florida
Palm Bay renters pay $130 more than their homeowner counterparts per month. The median value of a home is $186,100, with an average monthly mortgage of $1,174. Renters comparatively pay $1,304 per month. Over 120,000 people call Palm Bay home.
4. Avondale, Arizona
Monthly mortgages in Avondale cost $1,499, while rent costs $1,592. But only about 60% of residents take advantage of this $93 difference. The median home value is $252,400, upon which annual property taxes would cost $1,615.
5. Kissimmee, Florida
Kissimmee mortgages cost $1,281 per month, which is $80 less than rents, which average $1,361. This city of nearly 80,000 people is located on Lake Tokopekaliga, just south of Orlando. Only 45% of residents here are homeowners, leaving lots of opportunity for first-time homebuyers.
6. Palm Coast, Florida
The median home value in Palm Coast is $238,700. While the take-rate is relatively high for homeownership, this is the last of the cities where monthly mortgage costs are less than rental costs – albeit only by $34. Rents here cost $1,403 per month on average, while homeowners pay $1,369.
7. North Port, Florida
North Port is the city closest to rent and mortgage parity, meaning that the net difference between both costs is smallest out of all the cities considered. Even though it's technically more expensive to own than rent here, the monthly mortgage cost of $1,293 is only $2 more than a monthly rental.
8. Queen Creek, Arizona
With under 70,000 residents, Queen Creek is the smallest city in the top 10 by population. But, it also has the highest median home value at $407,800. The average monthly mortgage payment is $2,054, while rent costs just $28 less ($2,026). Nearly 88% of homes are owner-occupied.
9. Port St. Lucie, Florida
Port St. Lucie is the largest city by population in the top 10, with more than 215,000 residents. Homeowners here pay $1,595 monthly for a mortgage, while renters pay $31 less. Property taxes on the average home value of $245,900 would be $3,221.
10. Hammond, Indiana
Hammond offers the lowest rent and mortgages in the top 10, so it is more affordable from a nominal standpoint. Monthly mortgage costs are $992, while rents are $959. Still, homeowner occupancy sits around 60%.
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