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

Cameron Huddleston

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: Dec. 27, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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: Cost of Renting vs. Owning a Home in Every State

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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