Buying vs. Renting: Ownership Still Best in Most Florida Metros

Buying vs Renting? Buying a home in most of Florida may be more affordable than you think

Everything seems to be on the rise these days in the world of real estate: home prices, mortgage interest rates, even the number of buyers competing with you for the properties that you’ve set your heart on. So it seems like when it comes to buying vs renting, renting a home would be the most cost effective route, right?

Nope. Despite all that, it’s still more affordable to buy a home than to rent one in 66% of U.S. counties, according to a recent report from ATTOM Data Solutions, a real estate data firm that’s the parent company of RealtyTrac.

The report compared monthly rents of three-bedroom apartments to monthly payments, including mortgages, property taxes, and insurance, on median-priced abodes in 540 counties that had 900 home sales or more in 2016. ATTOM assessed affordability by looking at 2017 rent estimates from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, wage data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and public record sales deed data.

“While buying continues to be more affordable than renting in the majority of U.S. markets, that equation could change quickly if mortgage rates keep rising in 2017,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president with ATTOM Data Solutions. “In that scenario, renters who have not yet made the leap to homeownership will find it even more difficult to make that leap this year.”

Blomquist says rising mortgage rates could make renting “the lesser of two housing affordability evils in a growing number of high-priced markets.”

Only a handful of Florida metro areas have rents low enough that they compare favorably to homeownership, and most of those are in Key West, Southwest Florida or upscale suburbs to major cities.

An interactive map that displays buying vs renting in metro areas in the U.S. and Florida is posted on ATTOM’s website. The map shows that it is more affordable to buy rather than rent in Florida metros such as Orlando, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Ocala, the Space Coast, and many others.


Sources: “Buying a Home May Be More Affordable Than You Think,”; “Buy vs. rent: Ownership still best in most Fla. metros,” Florida Realtors