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50 Cities Where It’s Cheaper To Buy a Home Than Rent

Cameron Huddleston
·14 min read
Row of houses in Washington D.
Row of houses in Washington D.

Buying a home is often touted as a smarter financial move than renting. In the past, Americans seemed to bear this sentiment, as homeownership rates climbed year after year to reach a high of 69.2% in 2004, according to Census Bureau data. But the tide turned as the housing market started to collapse in 2007 and the U.S. economy fell into a recession. Over time, more and more people turned to renting. By 2016, the homeownership rate had fallen to 62.9%, and the percentage of renting households hit a 50-year high.

Things changed again, though, in 2017. The homeownership rate in the U.S. has been inching back up over the past two years and is now at 64.8%, according to the Census Bureau. So, if you?re renting, should you join the renewed trend toward homeownership?

To help Americans determine whether they should continue renting or take the plunge into homeownership, GOBankingRates analyzed the top 100 housing markets in the U.S. to see where you can save money in the long term by opting to buy rather than rent. The study estimated the typical monthly mortgage payment in each city by using the median list price, a 20% down payment and the current interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. The monthly mortgage payment was then compared to the median rent for a single-family residence, resulting in the expected savings from buying versus renting.

Note that GOBankingRates? study doesn?t factor in the initial cost of a down payment on a home, which can take many years to save up for. The study only considers the monthly mortgage payment and rent. So, if you can get past the hurdle of a down payment, buying a home in these cities makes financial sense.

Last updated: Oct. 30, 2020

Pittsburgh, USA - June 30, 2013: Residential area of Shadyside, Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh, USA - June 30, 2013: Residential area of Shadyside, Pittsburgh.

50. Pittsburgh

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $219,000

  • Monthly rent: $1,398

  • 20% down payment: $43,800

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,180

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $218

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $2,610

Homes, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
Homes, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

49. New Orleans

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $318,000

  • Monthly rent: $1,600

  • 20% down payment: $63,600

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,380

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $220

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $2,640

Tampa, USA - December 6, 2013: Large homes decorated during Christmas time in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Tampa, Florida, USA.
Tampa, USA - December 6, 2013: Large homes decorated during Christmas time in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Tampa, Florida, USA.

48. Tampa, Florida

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $315,000

  • Monthly rent: $1,650

  • 20% down payment: $63,000

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,425

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $225

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $2,700

Arlington, Texas / USA - July 27 2010: Large Pedesphere Elevated Water Tower Painted with the City Logo.
Arlington, Texas / USA - July 27 2010: Large Pedesphere Elevated Water Tower Painted with the City Logo.

47. Arlington, Texas

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $260,000

  • Monthly rent: $1,650

  • 20% down payment: $52,000

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,423

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $227

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $2,724

10 Essential Steps: How To Buy a House

Louisville downtown skyline
Louisville downtown skyline

46. Louisville, Kentucky

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $205,000

  • Monthly rent: $1,150

  • 20% down payment: $41,000

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $912

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $238

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $2,856

St.
St.

45. St. Louis

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $159,900

  • Monthly rent: $975

  • 20% down payment: $31,980

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $729

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $246

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $2,952

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA skyline from Louisiana State Capitol.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA skyline from Louisiana State Capitol.

44. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $228,500

  • Monthly rent: $1,200

  • 20% down payment: $45,700

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $954

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $246

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $2,952

Downtown Knoxville Tennessee Skyline Aerial.
Downtown Knoxville Tennessee Skyline Aerial.

43. Knoxville, Tennessee

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $242,995

  • Monthly rent: $1,300

  • 20% down payment: $48,599

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,030

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $270

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $3,240

Tucson-Arizona
Tucson-Arizona

42. Tucson, Arizona

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $227,500

  • Monthly rent: $1,300

  • 20% down payment: $45,500

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,029

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $271

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $3,252

Anaheim, Calif.
Anaheim, Calif.

41. Anaheim, California

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $619,000

  • Monthly rent: $2,900

  • 20% down payment: $123,800

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $2,624

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $276

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $3,312

Greensboro skyline with pink, orange, and yellow at sunset.
Greensboro skyline with pink, orange, and yellow at sunset.

40. Greensboro, North Carolina

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $207,000

  • Monthly rent: $1,225

  • 20% down payment: $41,400

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $948

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $277

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $3,324

Apartments on Street.
Apartments on Street.

39. Chandler, Arizona

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $349,900

  • Monthly rent: $1,750

  • 20% down payment: $69,980

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,472

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $278

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $3,336

Nashville, United States - May 5, 2016: Single family residential homes are painted different colors in a Tennessee neighborhood.
Nashville, United States - May 5, 2016: Single family residential homes are painted different colors in a Tennessee neighborhood.

38. Nashville, Tennessee

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $326,000

  • Monthly rent: $1,725

  • 20% down payment: $65,200

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,445

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $280

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $3,360

Rooftop views over Colorado Springs.
Rooftop views over Colorado Springs.

37. Colorado Springs, Colorado

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $335,000

  • Monthly rent: $1,650

  • 20% down payment: $67,000

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,367

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $283

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $3,396

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA - JUNE 8 - A scenic backyard view in a local neighborhood on June 8 2019 in Anchorage Alaska.
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA - JUNE 8 - A scenic backyard view in a local neighborhood on June 8 2019 in Anchorage Alaska.

36. Anchorage, Alaska

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $317,500

  • Monthly rent: $1,800

  • 20% down payment: $63,500

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,515

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $285

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $3,420

Newer adobe homes in New Mexico.
Newer adobe homes in New Mexico.

35. Albuquerque, New Mexico

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $230,995

  • Monthly rent: $1,350

  • 20% down payment: $46,199

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,045

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $305

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $3,660

Downtown of Indianapolis by Indiana Central Canal.
Downtown of Indianapolis by Indiana Central Canal.

34. Indianapolis

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $174,900

  • Monthly rent: $1,108

  • 20% down payment: $34,980

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $795

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $313

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $3,750

San Bernardino California
San Bernardino California

33. San Bernardino, California

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $305,000

  • Monthly rent: $1,650

  • 20% down payment: $61,000

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,331

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $319

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $3,828

yacht
yacht

32. Las Vegas

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $299,999

  • Monthly rent: $1,599

  • 20% down payment: $60,000

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,279

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $320

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $3,840

Downtown Miami during an amazing sunny day, it is visible the buildings and palms.
Downtown Miami during an amazing sunny day, it is visible the buildings and palms.

31. Miami

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $479,000

  • Monthly rent: $2,500

  • 20% down payment: $95,800

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $2,175

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $325

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $3,900

Toledo Ohio
Toledo Ohio

30. Toledo, Ohio

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $88,250

  • Monthly rent: $797

  • 20% down payment: $17,650

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $470

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $327

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $3,924

Los Angeles California - Beverly Hills landscape and mansions aerial view late afternoon.
Los Angeles California - Beverly Hills landscape and mansions aerial view late afternoon.

29. Los Angeles

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $850,000

  • Monthly rent: $4,000

  • 20% down payment: $170,000

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $3,661

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $339

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $4,068

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA dawn on the Schuylkill River at Boathouse Row.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA dawn on the Schuylkill River at Boathouse Row.

28. Philadelphia

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $235,000

  • Monthly rent: $1,400

  • 20% down payment: $47,000

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,055

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $345

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $4,140

Looking south at Columbus, Ohio in the distance.
Looking south at Columbus, Ohio in the distance.

27. Columbus, Ohio

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $184,900

  • Monthly rent: $1,343

  • 20% down payment: $36,980

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $997

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $346

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $4,146

Upscale California neighborhood.
Upscale California neighborhood.

26. Sacramento, California

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $343,900

  • Monthly rent: $1,850

  • 20% down payment: $68,780

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,504

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $346

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $4,152

Don?t Miss: 20 Home Renovations That Will Hurt Your Home?s Value

Downtown Lawrenceville Georgia
Downtown Lawrenceville Georgia

25. Lawrenceville, Georgia

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $253,850

  • Monthly rent: $1,550

  • 20% down payment: $50,770

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,191

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $359

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $4,308

Corpus Christi, Texas, USA on the seawall at dawn.
Corpus Christi, Texas, USA on the seawall at dawn.

24. Corpus Christi, Texas

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $216,500

  • Monthly rent: $1,495

  • 20% down payment: $43,300

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,134

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $361

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $4,332

High end townhouses line the streets on Mud Island, Memphis, Tennessee.
High end townhouses line the streets on Mud Island, Memphis, Tennessee.

23. Memphis, Tennessee

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $115,000

  • Monthly rent: $925

  • 20% down payment: $23,000

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $563

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $362

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $4,344

A house in a residential neighborhood of Phoenix near Squaw Peak.
A house in a residential neighborhood of Phoenix near Squaw Peak.

22. Phoenix

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $285,000

  • Monthly rent: $1,575

  • 20% down payment: $57,000

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,199

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $376

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $4,512

Mesa is a city in Maricopa County, in the U.
Mesa is a city in Maricopa County, in the U.

21. Mesa, Arizona

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $285,000

  • Monthly rent: $1,595

  • 20% down payment: $57,000

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,199

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $396

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $4,752

Buildings in downtown Columbia, South Carolina viewed from Finlay Park.
Buildings in downtown Columbia, South Carolina viewed from Finlay Park.

20. Columbia, South Carolina

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $185,000

  • Monthly rent: $1,199

  • 20% down payment: $37,000

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $801

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $398

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $4,776

2015: Row of houses on Chase Avenue in the Northside neighborhoo, CINCINNATI - DECEMBER 22
2015: Row of houses on Chase Avenue in the Northside neighborhoo, CINCINNATI - DECEMBER 22

19. Cincinnati

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $214,900

  • Monthly rent: $1,513

  • 20% down payment: $42,980

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,114

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $399

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $4,782

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

18. Minneapolis

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $299,000

  • Monthly rent: $1,825

  • 20% down payment: $59,800

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,425

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $400

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $4,800

Three houses in a Cleveland, Ohio neighborhood.
Three houses in a Cleveland, Ohio neighborhood.

17. Cleveland

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $86,000

  • Monthly rent: $895

  • 20% down payment: $17,200

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $489

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $406

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $4,872

Old brick house in the Old Salem Historic District, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Old brick house in the Old Salem Historic District, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

16. Winston-Salem, North Carolina

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $192,990

  • Monthly rent: $1,275

  • 20% down payment: $38,598

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $866

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $409

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $4,908

Rooftop view of homes in Norfolk, Virginia
Rooftop view of homes in Norfolk, Virginia

15. Norfolk, Virginia

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $220,000

  • Monthly rent: $1,425

  • 20% down payment: $44,000

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,008

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $417

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $5,004

Picturesque luxury home with wooden verandah in traditional style overlooking quiet suburban streets under clear blue panoramic skies in this tranquil Florida community.
Picturesque luxury home with wooden verandah in traditional style overlooking quiet suburban streets under clear blue panoramic skies in this tranquil Florida community.

14. Orlando, Florida

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $290,000

  • Monthly rent: $1,730

  • 20% down payment: $58,000

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,309

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $421

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $5,052

Related: Most and Least Expensive States to Build a Home

The view at dusk of Little Marsh Hill houses, the suburb of Jacksonville city (Florida).
The view at dusk of Little Marsh Hill houses, the suburb of Jacksonville city (Florida).

13. Jacksonville, Florida

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $215,000

  • Monthly rent: $1,395

  • 20% down payment: $43,000

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $964

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $431

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $5,172

The snow covered Longs Peak and the Rocky Mountains stand behind Downtown Denver skyscrapers, hotels, office and apartment buildings with homes and condos in the foreground.
The snow covered Longs Peak and the Rocky Mountains stand behind Downtown Denver skyscrapers, hotels, office and apartment buildings with homes and condos in the foreground.

12. Denver

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $470,000

  • Monthly rent: $2,400

  • 20% down payment: $94,000

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,965

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $435

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $5,220

Homes in an quiet urban neighborhood in St.
Homes in an quiet urban neighborhood in St.

11. St. Paul, Minnesota

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $229,000

  • Monthly rent: $1,525

  • 20% down payment: $45,800

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,089

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $436

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $5,232

Chula Vista is the second largest city in the San Diego metropolitan area, the seventh largest city in Southern California, the fourteenth largest city in the state of California.
Chula Vista is the second largest city in the San Diego metropolitan area, the seventh largest city in Southern California, the fourteenth largest city in the state of California.

10. Chula Vista, California

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $534,900

  • Monthly rent: $2,750

  • 20% down payment: $106,980

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $2,304

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $446

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $5,352

Buffalo New York
Buffalo New York

9. Buffalo, New York

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $109,900

  • Monthly rent: $1,100

  • 20% down payment: $21,980

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $645

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $455

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $5,460

View of Santa Ana, California.
View of Santa Ana, California.

8. Santa Ana, California

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $549,900

  • Monthly rent: $2,800

  • 20% down payment: $109,980

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $2,331

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $469

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $5,628

Fall view of private houses neighborhood with classic american middle class homes and colorful trees along a pond reflected in a water.
Fall view of private houses neighborhood with classic american middle class homes and colorful trees along a pond reflected in a water.

7. Madison, Wisconsin

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $300,000

  • Monthly rent: $2,100

  • 20% down payment: $60,000

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,602

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $498

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $5,976

Little Italy district in Baltimore, Maryland, USA: May 5, 2018: Main street in Little Italy of Baltimore City.
Little Italy district in Baltimore, Maryland, USA: May 5, 2018: Main street in Little Italy of Baltimore City.

6. Baltimore

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $159,970

  • Monthly rent: $1,325

  • 20% down payment: $31,994

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $814

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $511

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $6,132

Row of colorful, red, yellow, blue, white, green painted residential townhouses, homes, houses with brick patio gardens in summer.
Row of colorful, red, yellow, blue, white, green painted residential townhouses, homes, houses with brick patio gardens in summer.

5. Silver Spring, Maryland

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $419,000

  • Monthly rent: $2,400

  • 20% down payment: $83,800

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,864

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $536

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $6,432

Aerial view of residential neighborhood in the Autumn.
Aerial view of residential neighborhood in the Autumn.

4. Aurora, Colorado

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $355,000

  • Monthly rent: $2,095

  • 20% down payment: $71,000

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,484

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $611

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $7,332

Hialeah, Miami, Florida, USA - November 4, 2012: Yellow House with ornaments in the front and wide driveway.
Hialeah, Miami, Florida, USA - November 4, 2012: Yellow House with ornaments in the front and wide driveway.

3. Hialeah, Florida

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $324,740

  • Monthly rent: $2,145

  • 20% down payment: $64,948

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,474

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $671

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $8,052

Houses and in the neighbourhood of Capitol Hill in Washington DC USA.
Houses and in the neighbourhood of Capitol Hill in Washington DC USA.

2. Washington

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $600,000

  • Monthly rent: $3,199

  • 20% down payment: $120,000

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $2,479

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $720

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $8,640

Naples, Florida, USA downtown skyline at dusk.
Naples, Florida, USA downtown skyline at dusk.

1. Naples, Florida

  • Median list price for a single-family residence: $399,000

  • Monthly rent: $4,500

  • 20% down payment: $79,800

  • Monthly mortgage payment after 20% down: $1,702

  • Difference between rent and mortgage payment: $2,798

  • Annual savings when you buy instead of rent: $33,576

More From GOBankingRates

Methodology: GOBankingRates analyzed the 100 cities with the biggest housing markets in the U.S. to determine the cities where you can save on housing in the long term by opting to buy rather than rent. GOBankingRates first compiled the median listing price for homes in each city, sourced from Zillow. Using the median listing price, a median monthly mortgage payment estimate was calculated via SmartAsset?s mortgage calculator, using a 20% down payment, Federal Reserve Economic Data?s current 30-year fixed mortgage rate and local annual property tax rates (also from SmartAsset). This was then compared to the median monthly rental price for single-family residences in each city, sourced from Zillow, to find the difference between a median mortgage payment and the median rent in each city. Cities were then ranked according to how much the median rent exceeded the median mortgage payment, with No. 1 being the city where the most money can be saved by buying over renting. All data used to conduct this study was compiled and verified on Dec. 5, 2019.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 50 Cities Where It’s Cheaper To Buy a Home Than Rent