Renting Is Back on Top for Consumers

Columnist Lew Sichelman examines the effects of higher interest rates on the rent vs. buy debate.

Just one year ago, home ownership was more affordable than renting in most places, according to a January 2022 report from ATTOM. Now, the Irvine Calif., company says just the opposite is true.

My, how the tide has turned.

In January 2022, the real estate data firm reported that owning a median-priced house was cheaper than renting a three-bedroom house in 666—58 percent—of the1,154 counties it studied. But in its latest report, it finds, renting a comparably-sized median-priced house is more affordable in 210 – 95 percent – of the 222 counties analyzed this time around.

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