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Is It Cheaper to Rent an Apartment or Buy Home in Houston?


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It’s more affordable to buy  home than it is to rent an apartment in most U.S. cities, including Houston, according to Zillow Inc.

The national online Real Estate company released it s affordability report, which analyzed median household incomes, home values and rent prices in 35 cities.  Zillow found that in Houston, a household making the median income of nearly $60,000 can expect to spend more than 2.5 time the share of their monthly income on rent than a monthly mortgage payment for a typical home valued at $150,300.

In Houston, the average home buyer can expect to spend 11.7% of their income on a home mortgage payment, while renters can expect to spend 29.4% of their monthly income on rent, according to Zillow,  A caveat however:  Zillow’s analysis does not seem to take into account other costs borne by homeowners, including property taxes, insurance and maintenance.

“Despite rising home values, homeownership remains very accessible for buyers that can scrape together a down payment – even if that down payment is relatively modest – find a home to buy and secure financing,” Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist, said in its report.

Home mortgage payments have become more affordable compared to apartment rents since the housing market crashed in 2007.  In Houston, renting is 31.2% more expensive now than it was before the recession, while buying a home is 20.7% less expensive now than it was before the recession, according to Zillow.

“Buying conditions are getting better every day, and in time the allure of fixed housing payments and building wealth through home equity will draw more buyers out of rentals and into homeownership,” Humphries said.

Article courtesy of Paul Takahashi with Houston Business Journal.

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