Please note this is highly local. The inland empire mortgages in some cases are cheaper than rent. And in 6 months or so this question needs to asked again. Also, if you plan to live in your house a very long time, then these moment to moment changes should be less of a concern to you.
Trulia, an online real estate tracking site, released its quarterly Rent vs. Buy Index last week, which looks at the costs of home ownership and renting in America's 50 largest cities. Trulia's experts compare the average cost of buying a two-bedroom apartment, condo or town home to the cost of renting using the properties listed on the site. Topping the list where rents are cheaper than buying was New York City, followed by Seattle; Fort Worth, Tex.; Omaha, Neb. and Sacramento, Calif.
The index showed home ownership was more affordable than renting in Arlington, Tex.; Fresno, Calif.; Miami and Mesa and Phoenix in Arizona.
In these types of communities, "we see a real pattern of foreclosure hot spots," said Nelson. "Prices have dropped a lot in these cities and their rental markets have seen a huge influx of renters." Nelson is quick to point out the index is just a "snapshot in time," not an indication of what a given family or individual should do.
"Just because a place is on that list doesn't mean it's unwise to buy depending on your personal circumstances," said Nelson, who believes that equation is much more personal and complicated, involving everything from financial assets to time commitments and stability.