8 Cities Where Renting is More Expensive Than Owning

According to a recent report by Realtor.com, the national average monthly cost of renting an apartment now surpasses the median monthly mortgage payment for a starter home in over half of the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan areas! For renters in these cities, the numbers might reveal a surprising truth: buying a home could be a more strategic financial move in the long run. We did some digging around, and here are the top U.S. cities where renting an apartment might be a bigger financial burden than owning a starter home (data based on Realtor.com, February 2024):

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, California

The high cost of living in the Bay Area is no secret, and housing is a major culprit. The average rent for an apartment here sits at a staggering $4,200, a significant 25.6% more expensive than the median mortgage payment for a starter home ($3,340).

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California

Tech giants and expensive lifestyles are synonymous with Silicon Valley. Here, the average rent for an apartment is a hefty $3,840, a surprising 2.4% more expensive than the median mortgage payment for a starter home ($3,750).

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California

The City of Angels might have to tighten its belt when it comes to rent. The average rent for an apartment is a notable $3,510, a concerning 14.1% more expensive than the median mortgage payment for a starter home ($3,070).

New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ

The Big Apple doesn’t come cheap, especially for renters. The average rent for an apartment is a jaw-dropping $4,080, a staggering 42.3% more expensive than the median mortgage payment for a starter home ($2,870).

Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

Beantown boasts a high cost of living, and rent is no exception. The average rent for an apartment is a hefty $3,200, a concerning 22.2% more expensive than the median mortgage payment for a starter home ($2,620)

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

The nation’s capital has a hefty price tag, especially for renters. The average rent is a notable $3,150, 18.2% more expensive than the median mortgage payment for a starter home ($2,670).

Honolulu, Hawaii

Paradise doesn’t come cheap. The average rent for an apartment is a significant $2,800, a surprising 13.8% more expensive than the median mortgage payment for a starter home ($2,460).

Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Florida

Sunshine and beaches come at a premium for renters in Miami. The average rent for an apartment is a hefty $2,720, a concerning 12.2% more expensive than the median mortgage payment for a starter home ($2,420).

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

The Emerald City’s tech boom has driven up housing costs, making renting a more expensive option for many residents. The average rent for an apartment is $2,480, a surprising 7.8% more expensive than the median mortgage payment for a starter home ($2,310).

San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, California

California’s coastal paradise comes with a price tag that hits renters harder. The average rent for an apartment is a notable $2,650, a concerning 4.6% more expensive than the median mortgage payment for a starter home ($2,520).

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