HOUSTON - The cost of renting or buying a home, in Houston, continues to rise for a variety of reasons.
A new study, though, shows there can be significant savings between the two, depending on where you live.
While there's a lot of difference between renting and buying that can, ultimately, come down to 'flexibility' versus 'investment', a LendingTree comparison of the nation's largest metro-areas finds the difference can make quite a difference.
Whichever you choose, buying a home or renting an apartment is getting pricier. Year-over-year, rents, in Houston, climbed more than 4%, while home prices jumped 17% in the same period.
The LendingTree report compares the two costs, between a median one-bedroom apartment and the median cost of ownership. The headline: renting is cheaper by about $600 dollars a month, on average.
"What we're seeing, especially with the pandemic driving prices even higher, is a bigger and bigger split between who can afford to rent and who can afford to buy," says LendingTree's Jacob Channel.
Among the results, the difference was most dramatic in the nation's most expensive cities, like New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, where it's about $1200 dollars, a month, cheaper to rent than buy. The narrowest gap is in Orlando, where renting saves about $300 dollars.
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In Texas, San Antonio is better than average; Austin and Dallas skew higher; Houston has the widest gap between renting and buying, with a $637 dollars difference, each month. LendingTree thinks there's an explanation for that.
"Houston is now getting a lot of entrants from tech-sectors, from places like California, who want to move somewhere cheaper," says Channel, "I think what you're seeing is a lot of people moving into Houston, specifically, and driving the prices up, which is causing a bigger gap between cost to own and cost to rent."
Clearly, there can be benefits to each option, but personal finances, long-term plans, and up-front costs are all things to consider before making a decision.