June 14, 2009

Is it still cheaper to rent than "own" in your town?


Single said...

Not in Houston. If you have a down payment and a reasonable credit rating (and not a lot of debt) and a good job; houses are plentiful and you can have a monthly mortgage MUCH less than a comparable monthly rent. You battle the heat, but if all we are looking at his housing and employment - Houston is a great place to be.

Elliot said...

Hutchinson Island, FL
direct oceanfront 2/2 condo:

Cost to Own:
was listed at $300k.
then at $250k.
now at $218k.

cost of capital(5%*$218k) = $10,900
property tax = $4,100
condo fees = $3,600
insurance estimate = $1,200
maintenance estimate = $1,200
TOTAL COST TO OWN = $21,000/year

Cost to Rent:
used to rent at $1k/mo.
still rents at $1k/mo.
TOTAL COST TO RENT = $12,000/year

"Owners" still living in some stupid fantasy world. If the rent goes up to $1,750/mo (21k/yr) I would say uncle and buy. Fat chance.

More realistic for the rent to rise to $1,400/mo and the price to drop to $134k. Long way to go!

Miss Goldbug said...

Most definitely still cheaper to rent than own. Especially in the bay area.

House rentals in nice areas still high, but apt rentals here in Alameda are getting cheaper by the month. Now that school is out, will be more people moving and rental prices/deals getting better and better.

long beach, ca said...

in my part of town, downtown long beach, a two bedroom two bathroom condo will cost you $200,000 to buy. to rent the same thing, it will cost you $1300 to $1500 a month. so yeah it's actually cheaper to buy. the story is different in the more desirable parts of long beach, like the canals on the border to orange county.

Anonymous said...

My Rent in FL: $750 mo. 2/2 townhouse, 1,200 sf, 1/2 block to beach.

Payment for purchase would be $1,100/mo PITI

I figure LL’s fixed costs at $500 mo for tax, ins, HOA & mgmt. They are bringing in a whopping $250 mo. That is until the A/C unit blows, which is due any day.
Got $3K?

Anonymous said...

The dynamics have not changed much... seen only a 10% correction in prices. Most sellers still clinging to 2005 price. After 10% correction, I still rent at 35-40% price of owning same space in same neighborhood.

Brown power said...

*off topic but interesting insight.

If Iran’s youth succeeds in breaking out of the ‘Honika Jewinski and Gonzo like’ chains and shackles.

It is likely that it wont be the BRIC countries that will lead the next economic boom; it may very well be an emerging and starving Iran.

Notice the lack of links to other people’s writings on the Internet,
not required here to prove illogical and backward ideas.

fat amelican said...

Hey Mr. Green Shoots (aka Keith), our Sunday newspaper publishes weekly RE transactions. In a market that used to be dominated with jumbo loan transactions, we had exactly two houses sold at prices over $400K. And this is supposedly the prime time of the year for RE sales! Last night at dinner, our waitress said that she sensed a strange vibe and business had really slowed in the past two weeks. This is normally a very busy time of year for this restaurant and we typically would have to wait for a table. Not anymore.

Available rentals, declining rents? You bet, the average rents are trending down as jobless families flee town. Commercial RE looks uglier every day - literally - the FOR LEASE signs at some of the vacant strip malls have blown over and no one even bothers to put them back up.

Anonymous said...

North Central San Diego; modest, blue-collar hood(Clairemont):

Buy ~~$400-450k.

Rent ~~$2k.

Rent/Cost-to-own ~~0.66 without maintenance.

These houses are 50 years old.

Mark in San Diego said...

Downtown San Diego - much cheaper still to rent than own - luxury 2 bd. 2 ba, sell in the 600-800K range, and rent for $2200 to $3600.

Some SD area cities with a lot of foreclosures - Chula Vista, Oceanside, it might be cheaper to own, BUT . . .the Local newspaper just had a front page story - "Landlords Feeling the Heat from Recession." . . .basically that rents are coming down an vacancies are way up. Still a lot of delusional sellers out there, who are "waiting for the market to return.". . . .right - My Cisco stock will go back to $90 someday also when the NASDAQ goes back to 5000!!

Stuck in So Pa said...

Renting is the ONLY way to go in this neck of the woods. Even without a housing run-up, the median income cannot afford the median house here, even though the houses are low-moderately priced.

Talking with a township official and he told me that the rental situation here is directly responsible for the skyrocketing school taxes (I would debate some of that, but he had the floor!)

You take a large old farmhouse, or home on main street, and convert it into 10 apartments (HUD assisted of course) and where one building paid for one family's property taxes, that same building generates the same dollar amount of property tax, to cover 10 families and their kids.

There is always the argument that renters DO pay property taxes, through their monthly rents, but that argument falls flat with just the barest examination since even a whole house, one family monthly rental here comes nowhere near the equivalent cost of mortgage + property taxes for the same house across the street.

Anonymous said...

Swap till you drop bitches!

Confessions of a Swapaholic.


Anonymous said...

Are we talking houses or women?


sunshine, lollipops and happy graphs said...

Hey long beach. I used to own a condo on 4th St. just west of Maine. Goldengate Square.

Bought in 90, walked away broke but still young in 95. Had a nice little incident in the mean time where the HOA decided to give the blueprints a good going over (actually hired an engineering firm to do it), and found out the two level parking structure below the condo didn't have adequate rebar inside the dried cement.

Then they sent us all a nice little letter saying that the whole building was "in emanate danger of collapse". Well, that didn't exactly go unnoticed.

So by and large, it was a rather rough ride. But one thing it taught me is how people hang on to each other for support. Come together, commiserate, decide that everything will be ok in 6 months.

I started noticing that every six months we'd give the market a six month extension, and started to realize we were lying to ourselves. Anyhow the day I decided to stop paying the mortgage is the first good day I'd had in a long time. Went for a year before they kicked me out, since foreclosure volume was so high at the time I imagine.

A friend of mine at the time said that downtown was like walking into a batman movie. Everything was tones of gray and dark blue. I decided it was an accurate description, but maybe that was also a reflection of my financial mess.

But since 2004 I've been marveling that we would repeat the housing bubble thing again so soon. And that we managed to fit a stock market bubble in between for good measure. You can bet your ass I didn't make the same mistake twice.

Anonymous said...

Renting is still cheaper in the Twin City area. But there are a few foreclosures on the market priced low enough to make buying worthwhile if you could haggle the price down a ways.

AuAgPb said...

Downtown San Diego - much cheaper still to rent than own - luxury 2 bd. 2 ba, sell in the 600-800K range, and rent for $2200 to $3600.

Some SD area cities with a lot of foreclosures - Chula Vista, Oceanside, it might be cheaper to own, BUT . . .the Local newspaper just had a front page story - "Landlords Feeling the Heat from Recession." . . .basically that rents are coming down an vacancies are way up. Still a lot of delusional sellers out there, who are "waiting for the market to return.". . . .right - My Cisco stock will go back to $90 someday also when the NASDAQ goes back to 5000!!

Love the DENIAL in San Diego Mark. I have co-workers waiting for the "market to return". I tell them that's what it is doing now. It's just a long, slow process. This probably won't help speed it up either.


long beach, ca said...

sunshine - i bought my one bedroom condo in nov 1996 at the bottom of the last market for $38,900 with $2000 down. went up to $290,000 and is now $150,000 according to zillow. i'm at the corner of 4th and maine, sunset pointe building. i have no dependents, so i don't mind the hood. my mortgage is less than to rent obviously and that building you're talking about hasn't collapsed yet.

Anonymous said...

When the Chief comes looking to get some of his cheese back property taxes will be hit hard. Renting for the next several years looks a lot safer.

Anonymous said...

"...You can bet your ass I didn't make the same mistake twice..."

Experience is a pretty good teacher; ain't it?

Keep your powder dry, folks. Huge airspace below us still.

Will you really lose out on so much if the next cycle starts and you're a year late?

How about if it doesn't and you're five(or more) early?

The worst possible justification is "lots of bidding/buying now."

How'd that work out in 2005? Millions of lemmings; right off a cliff.

Randy said...

Anon said:
‘When the Chief comes looking to get some of his cheese back property taxes will be hit hard. Renting for the next several years looks a lot safer.’

By then the green shoots will have grown into gigantic cheese trees and we’ll all be harvesting vine ripened cheese triangles 3 times a year.

Once, just in time for income cheese
Second, for land cheese
Third, for school cheese

Jim in San Diego said...

My 1 bedroom apt, one block from the beach, costs $920.00 a month. The cheapest condo in this zip code is currently $145,000 - obviously not a block from the beach, but not bad. There is a 2 bedroom condo available near me, it's 2 blocks away from the beach, for $399,500 - that condo would rent for $2000. If you put it up for rent at $2000 it would be rented in a couple days. Yes you could "own" for a comparable price.

I am thinking about buying now. I regret not doing it a month ago when 30 year rates were 5%.

San Diego real estate is very localized. Million dollar houses in one neighborhood, then you drive 5 minutes away and they cost $500,000, 5 more minutes, $200,000.

Keep in mind - do you want to be renting when you are 60 years old? Do you think rents will be $920.00 a block from the beach in 30 years? Twelve years ago I rented a 4 bedroom house on Sunset Cliffs Blvd for $1200 - it is over $3000 a month today. Hell, the apt I live in was $750.00 when I moved in 3 years ago.

If you want to know for sure if it's cheaper to rent or buy, check this out:


sunshine, lollipops and happy graphs said...

Sunset Pointe building. Yep, I watched with excitement as they bulldozed the barrio that occupied that site previously. Didn't know at the time it's all for naught.

I bought in 90 for $117k. Some said I got a steal. I had the front unit on the second floor right above the entrance to the garage. Front most balcony there right above the hot tub heater/pump stuff. Spent a lot of nights sitting on that balcony drinking my blues away. Small world hugh?

$39k doesn't surprise me. Basically free. The $290 does surprise me. To live in the hood. Oh the madness of crowds.

WiseRenter said...

Still BY FAR cheaper to rent than "own" here in Orlando, FL. Still seems to be a lot of denial here, and still a lot of sheeple (suckers) looking to buy.

Anonymous said...

San Francisco and Sausalito, CA

rent is still about half what a mortgage is

Anonymous said...

Not in San Mateo, CA. This is a high end area in the San Francisco Bay Area. Still much cheaper to rent than to own.

long beach, ca said...

sunshine - punch in your old condo address into zillow.com and find out how much your unit has been bought and sold over the years, just for kicks if you want.

sunshine, lollipops and happy graphs said...

Cool. What's the zip code there?
It's been a while.

Anonymous said...

bought and sold 5 times in ten years equals/// 40 percent of sale price is realtor commissions required just to break even and not "House"...no thanks....

sunshine, lollipops and happy graphs said...

long beach, also I thought that street address was 740 W. 4th St but zillow is calling it 730. Is that right? The Golden Gate deal. Not the one next to you but the one next to that.

Also I don't know how to look up an addresses history on zillow. It just gives some current for sales.

Mammoth said...

"Keep in mind - do you want to be renting when you are 60 years old? Do you think rents will be $920.00 a block from the beach in 30 years?"
- - - - - - - - - - - -
If you buy a condo, you will be paying HOA fees when you are 60 years old, and beyond.

In 30 years those condo fees may be $920/month, and then there are taxes to pay on top of that.

Condos (i.e. HOA fees) are the 'kiss of death.'


sunshine, lollipops and happy graphs said...

BTW, the unit number was 201. Took a little while to remember that.

Anonymous said...

Orinda in the East Bay 50% cheaper to rent.

Nimesh said...

I live in Chicago and it is much cheaper to rent than to own. As a matter of fact, here are some numbers.

I am renting a one bedroom apartment. In 6/2008 when I signed on the lease, the rent was $670 (heat and water is included!). This year, the land lord, being a smart guy, kept my rent at $670. There are a lot of condos that are now being rented out by the owners because they are underwater.

Right next to me is a two bedroom and two full bath condo. The price is 250K and no parking is included. The total costs with a 20% down payment would come out to $1800 per month and to rent a similar property, you can get it for about $1000 to $1100 per month.

In Chicago, a one bedroom can rent for $600 (a bad neighborhood) to $850 (in a good neighborhood), a two bedroom can rent for $700 to $950 and a three bedroom for $850 to $1150. If you pay any more than $1150 per month for a three bedroom, you are not aggressive and didn't decide to negotiate.

For anyone who is a skeptic about my rental figures, all you have to do to get a good apartment rent is aggressively look and negotiate.

Out at the peak said...

Even though Sonoma County, CA has been one of the hardest hit CA areas, renting is still cheaper.

Let's look at my house:
$1700 monthly rent
$365,000 would be purchase price
$292,000 80% loan
$73,000 20% down

Monthly payment:
$1,568 lowest quote from bankrate.com
$380.21 monthly taxes (assuming they accept an assessed value of $365K)
$1948.21 total monthly

I get free use of appliances included with my rent. My landlord doesn't make any money even though he bought this place in 2001. He wishes he could raise the rent to $1800 so that he'd only lose $40 a month instead of $140. He's lucky that nothing has broke or else he'd have a maintenance bill too.

Anonymous said...

Lisbon, Portugal:

It is more expensive to rent than to own. Rents are sometimes more expensive than a mortgage. Go figure... Usually it costs the same renting or buying it...
Most of the times location within the city is irrelevant. They all ask for the same inflated price...

Anonymous said...

A follow up: Average rent in Lisbon for a 100 sqm flat, without utilities (anything from 10 to 100 years old): 800-1000 Euros.
Average asking price for sale: 200 000 Euros.
Average national wage: 750 Euros month.

Natural Eyebrows said...

Of course it's a failure. Doesn't have Trump's name on it.

Anonymous said...

norther virginia...dc metro area...Yes...wife and i just signed another year long lease.

Pissed in New York said...

In outlying NYC areas, it's rent all the way. have my local paper in front of me now: an idiot Realtor ad has (exact quote) "buy $1,699,000, or rent $2,000/mo." And I'll bet the 2 grand is fairly negotiable.

Typical here in metro NY: the retiree owners bought the place for $70-100 grand in the 70's-80's, now looking to cash out at an obscene price, live off it for their retirement. If they don't "get their price", they'll sit on it, costing them nothing more than taxes and a little maintenance, still make a profit market rate rents and will wait until the market 'comes back' because they 'won't give it away'.

How flipping stupid does anyone have to be to buy with those cost discrepancies, and how flipping stupid is the pimp writing the ad/selling it. I guess hoping no one will think of the numbers for more than half a second.

Oh, wait: no one looked at the numbers for more than half a second for years...

wallstreetvet said...

A Manhattan $1.5mil loft cost of carry is approx $12-13k a month. To rent deals can be found at $8k.

In Greenwich CT renting is only slightly cheaper.

Question is if cap rates on multifamily houses get to 8% it could be an interesting buy

long beach, ca said...

sunshine - i thought you were in 720 w 4th st. 90802 is the zip. zillow and redfin will both give you purchase history. 730 w 4th st #201 was sold in 10/28/04 for $307k according to zillow. there is a button on that page that says "see all charts and data", click on it and follow directions to get the sales history. good luck and nice talking to you.

gutless and lazy said...

DAMN, that Chrissy was super hot.

borkafatty aka the pig said...

Still cheaper to rent in NJ by far. A typical 3br house that would sell (to a sucker) for around $300K rents for $1500 - $2000 a month. PITI would be about the same with 20% down ($60 large!), but a 4% down FHA (a more apples to apples comparison IMO) it would be $2450, not including maintenance costs. Oh, and rents are plummeting too. People are tired of spending 50% of their net income on rent and more and more boomers who wont "give their house away" offer their houses they bought 30 years ago and "can't sell" (LOL!) for rent. All the while more and more people are doubling up because of the economy or moving away because you can get twice the house for half the money in 95% of the country. Property taxes alone will be more than rent soon if this keeps up.

Banana Republicrat said...

"Will you really lose out on so much if the next cycle starts and you're a year late?"

I told my MIL the same thing about four months back (she's sitting on a 5bdrm and a 6 bdrm "investment" that she made in Feb 2008 and Nov2006) the look on her face was priceless.

Great post Anon8:15, now get a name!

Anonymous said...

Central Florida - still WAY cheaper to rent here. Am in my fifth year of renting after many years of owning. I'm paying 50 cents a sq.ft. for a very nice place.

I notice that a number of posters look only at bare-bones cash flow when comparing own/rent - ignoring maintenance and replacement costs and the lost use (opportunity cost) of a down payment.


Anonymous said...

Just renewed my lease at a 25% REDUCTION in price. Cost includes, lawn, pool, cable at about 1/2 of coost to own.

Plus the owner is putting out about 6k for new tile throughout the house, after 4k for resurfacing the pool.

My realtard friends are always trying to convince me now is the time to buy. If I would have taken their advice I'd be down about 200k
in the value of this house.

We have at least another 15-20% to go.

Anonymous said...

Jersey Shore here... just renegotiated my rent for my one bedroom + backyard, parking, water, electricity from $990 per month to $725 per month. It's not luxurious by any means, but I like it and it will do for now. Most houses around here are asking $350K for a three bedroom house. That would cost me $1918 per month plus taxes, maintainence, etc. So yeah, cheaper to rent for now.

For shits and giggles I went to look at a two bedroom apt in a low-income family neighborhood close to me. It's for sale for $89K. Needs a ton of work, but it's cute and has a backyard.

If I had a job I'd make an offer, but I don't. I could pay 40K cash, but didn't offer that.

I asked the RE agent if the recent rise in mortgage rates would lower the price on the place, and he said "oh I talked to some loan officers and they say that mortgage rates will go back down soon."



Anonymous said...

God I love her titts!!!

Oh sorry, you were asking us something. :-)

-Silly Monkey

too much rope said...

Here in leafy Greenwich, CT, asking prices for homes are still based on pixie dust and unicorns.

Renting a nice house on a nice street for $2750 a month, meanwhile the house two doors down is for sale for 2.1 mill. Oh wait, that one has granite countertops - now the vast discrepancy in the p/e all makes sense.

Anonymous said...

Northern VA-MD--

Will rent until the prices come back down to the historical mean relating to wages and rents...

I mean, even with this region being more stable than most, LOOK at the fundamentals...

Huge inventory of foreclosed homes

People losing jobs by the millions

Commercial RE about to TANK

No savings to speak of

and banks holding on to about 70% of the bad loans because they think the TAXPAYER will bail them out, so they dont have to declare how WORTHLESS they are!!

Buying now is financial suicide!!

As Peter Schiff says, it is much more likely that as much as prices over-shot on the way UP, they will also overshoot on the way down.

NO ONE can afford a house right now...

Anonymous said...

I pay $500 a month to rent a 2 bedroom house in a town in Eastern Washington. Housing prices are about 170,000 on average, and have been dropping over the last few months. I'm waiting for them to drop some more before I'm ready to take on the expenses of owning.