Rent vs. buy? Ownership getting less advantageous BOCA RATON, Fla. – June 6, 2018

With housing markets around the U.S. nearing the peak in their cycles, renters who reinvest their money have an increasingly better chance at creating wealth than individuals who purchase a home, according to the latest national index produced by Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and Florida International University (FIU) faculty.

However, the key to maximizing wealth is that renters must reinvest any savings realized compared to homeowners. A marginal change in the Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent (BH&J) Index also shows an increased possibility of significant price retractions in many metro areas around the country, as other markets' pricing can be expected to remain stable based on their index scores. "On the heels of information concerning slowing housing starts, rising mortgage rates, decreased demand and unsustainable price increases, these numbers provide additional evidence that housing markets around the country are slowing, resulting in many to opt for renting," says Ken Johnson, Ph.D., a real estate economist and one of the index's creators in FAU's College of Business.

Of the 23 separate metro areas in the BH&J Index, many are nearing the top of their current housing cycle, meaning they are above their long-term pricing trend. These cities include Atlanta, Denver, Dallas, Honolulu, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and St. Louis. Other cities are below their long-term pricing trend – meaning buying and building equity is the superior option – including Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, New York and Philadelphia.

The biggest contributor to the climbing cost of ownership is rising house prices, said Eli Beracha, Ph.D., co-creator of the index and associate professor in the Hollo School of Real Estate at FIU. "The current scores driving the markets in the direction of renting and reinvesting appear to be the results of higher mortgage rates, increase in returns, on average, in the stock market, and the cost of ownership, which includes your mortgage payment, taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc.," Beracha says. "All of these costs are rising faster than the cost of renting a comparable property. "Therefore, renters who take the money they're saving each month and reinvest it are going to build wealth faster than those who buy a home, on average," he says.

© 2018 Florida Realtors®

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