Buying is more affordable than renting in 53% of cities and counties in the US, according to ATTOM Data Solutions’ 2020 Rental Affordability Report. ATTOM bases its analysis on fair market rent data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, wage valuations from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and public record sales and deed data from its own 85 5US counties with sufficient home sales data.

Tallying up all this data, ATTOM makes it clear that each of these markets has distinct differences. Such differences include…

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  • Differences based on size and location from core metro areas
  • Homeownership is more affordable in lightly populated counties such as Miami-Dade, Broward, Wayne (Detroit), Philadelphia, Hillsborough (Tampa), Cuyahoga (Cleveland) and Allegheny (Pittsburgh).
  • Renting is more affordable in more populous suburban or urban areas.
  • With populations of at least 500,000, renting is more affordable in 69% or 94 of 136 counties in the US.
  • With populations of at least 1M, renting is more affordable than buying in 36 of 43 counties, or 84%.
  • Renting a three-bedroom home requires an average of 37.6% of a household’s weekly wages.

ATTOM found that the least affordable rental markets in terms of the percentage of weekly wages in the country were in the states of California, Colorado and Hawaii with the least affordable counties being…

– Santa Cruz County CA                      82.1%

– Marin County CA                              75.3%

– Park County CO (SW of Denver)        74.3%

– Honolulu County HI                          74.2%

– Kauai county HI                               73.7%

– Kings County NY (Brooklyn)              65.3%

– Orange County CA                            64.7%

– San Diego County CA                        59.6%

– Contra Costa County CA                    58.4%

– Queens County NY                            57.4%

ATTOM found that the most affordable rental markets were in the states of Tennessee, New York Alabama and Ohio. Counties that required the least percentages of weekly wages for rental costs included…

– Roane County TN (W of Knoxville)    20.1%

– Steuben County NY (S of Rochester) 22.2%

– Madison County AL (Huntsville)        22.4%

– Green County OH (near Dayton)      23.0%

– Sangamon County IL (Springfield)   23.2%

– Allegheny County PA (Pittsburgh)    24.3%

– Cuyahoga County OH (Cleveland)    25.6%

– Fulton County GA (Atlanta)             26.2%

– Oakland County MI (near Detroit)   26.6%

– Wayne County MI (Detroit)             27.5%

Home prices were rising faster than fair market rents in 67.3% or 575 of 855 counties analyzed by ATTOM. The counties with the fastest rising home prices compared to fair market rents included Houston, San Bernardino CA, Bexar County TX (San Antonio), Wayne County MI (Detroit), and Philadelphia County PA.

Home prices rose faster than median rents in 280 counties or 32.7% of ATTOM’s 855 counties. Those counties included Los Angeles, Cook (Chicago), Maricopa (Phoenix), San Diego and Orange County.

Thanks to the staff with ATTOM Data Solutions for source data.

Also read: What to Look for in a Real Estate Agent, Top 10 Counties with Best & Worst Home Affordability, January Is The New April