Renting Is Cheaper Than Buying in All 50 States. How Does Your City Compare?

Renting is cheaper than buying, according to a new Bankrate survey. In 21 U.S. metros, the monthly cost of owning is at least 50% more expensive than the monthly cost of renting.

A couple of home buyers talk with a real estate agent in the front room of a vacant house.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Record-high house prices, near-record mortgage rates and record-low inventory have made it challenging for many people, especially first-time homebuyers, to buy a home. The upside? Now is a great time to rent. 

A recent Bankrate study found that renting is now cheaper than buying in all major U.S. cities. As of February, the typical monthly mortgage payment for a median-priced home ($412,778, per Redfin) was $2,703, while the typical rent was $1,979. That’s a difference of nearly $725 monthly, or more than $8,600 yearly. For some people, that extra $8,600 can go a long way when stashed in an emergency fund

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MetroMonthly Rent Monthly Mortage PaymentBuy-to-Rent Ratio
1. San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA$3,024$8,486180.7%
2. San Jose-Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, CA$3,255$8,539162.3%
3. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA$2,191$4,930125%
4. Salt Lake City, UT$1,673$3,16189%
5. Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX$1,753$3,26986.5%
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MetroMonthly Rent Monthly Mortgage PaymentBuy-to-Rent Ratio
1. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI$1,395$1,4232%
2. Pittsburgh, PA$1,415$1,4885.2%
3. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD$1,829$1,9888.7%
4. Cleveland-Elyria, OH$1,377$1,53711.6%
5. Buffalo-Cheektowaga, NY$1,295$1,55620.2%

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Kathryn Pomroy

For the past 18+ years, Kathryn has highlighted the humanity in personal finance by shaping stories that identify the opportunities and obstacles in managing a person's finances. All the same, she’ll jump on other equally important topics if needed. Kathryn graduated with a degree in Journalism and lives in Duluth, Minnesota. She joined Kiplinger in 2023 as a contributor.