Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Real Estate Truths: Rent vs. Buy

There is so much news on the health of the real estate market every day. Many people are waiting until the market fully recovers before investing in real estate but some are not waiting. What if experts suggested however that buying a home is actually cheaper than renting?

The newest studies of 50 of the largest cities in America are suggesting that it is a smart decision to buy and cheaper than rent in the same area. Trulia just released a new chart with varying factors that show which of the 50 largest cities is better to buy vs. rent a home. The results boast 39 of those cities are cheaper to purchase property than rent.

Trulia is not the only one spreading the good news however, check out Inman News this week. The news source is reporting that 78% of the major cities in the U.S. it is cheaper to buy real estate than to rent a home.

How does the Tampa Bay Area compare? Tampa, Florida is not one of the top 50 cities by population in the US therefore it doesn’t make most of the list, however using our own knowledge of the Tampa Bay Area we can figure out statistically if it is a better idea to buy your home or rent locally. Using the rent ratio described by the NY Times, a formula created by taking purchase price of a property and dividing it by the annual cost to rent the exact same property. The rule of thumb is less than 20; usually better idea to purchase a property. If the ratio is over 20 you should at least consider renting.

If you look at SI Real Estate’s recent sales, we will compare some of our recent purchases. A South Tampa condo in Cordoba Beach Park (2BD/2BA) just sold for $130,000. The same condo rents for about $1550. So using the rent ratio formula you get 7.0. If you compared a new construction home is New Tampa, a very nice 3 bedroom 2 bath house in a great neighborhood would run about $205,000. Let’s say if it was rented at $1700, the ratio is still only 10.05. Both examples are well below the 20 point rule of thumb given.

If you don’t like math check out this website at NY Times, it lets you plug in your own numbers and see whether purchasing or renting is a better idea. Have fun and when you are ready to start house hunting call SI Real Estate at (813)631-5144 or email us at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I heard some news that this year is time for real estate. So I think it is time to invest property now and it is good if you are buying property not renting so that it makes sure that your money will not waste. Thanks.