Ah, the perennial question.
In much of the country, including large parts of the Northeast, California, Florida and the Southwest, recent home buyers have faced higher monthly costs than renters and have lost money on their investment in the meantime. Itâ€™s almost as if they have thrown money away, an insult once reserved for renters.
Most striking, perhaps, is the fact that prices may not yet have fallen far enough for buying to look better than renting today, except for people who plan to stay in a home for many years.
By the Times’ estimate, home prices would need to increase an average of 4% per year over the next five years, in order for owning a home be more economical than renting.
If you like playing with numbers, the Times has a great calculator which shows you graphically whether it might be better for you to rent or to buy.
Source: A Word of Advice – By David Leonhardt, The New York Times