Here's Where It's Cheaper To Rent Than To Buy

Off the Charts: The Visual Says It All

Businesswoman looking at computer monitor

Thomas Barwick / Getty Images

Home prices have risen so much over the last year that it’s now cheaper to rent than to buy in many counties.

That’s according to a Thursday analysis by real estate data company Attom Data. The analysis showed that in 95% of the most populous counties in America, it took less of your income to rent a three-bedroom home than to buy one. 

Renting overtook buying as the more affordable option this year: When Attom ran the same analysis in 2022, buying was cheaper in 60% of the counties. The map below shows where it’s cheaper to buy or rent, and how much of a typical wage your housing costs would take up.

“What a difference a year makes,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence for ATTOM, in a press release. 

Attom analyzed the trends using its own data on rents and home prices, and used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to calculate how much income housing costs would consume in each county.

Mortgage interest rates—which more than doubled in 2022—along with soaring home prices   combined to inflate monthly payments for buying a home. Rents also went up last year, but not enough to make up for the double-whammy of rates and prices, according to Attom’s data.

The calculus may change soon though, since the winds in the housing market are once again shifting, with interest rates and home prices both having taken a turn south in recent months. 

Have a question, comment, or story to share? You can reach Diccon at

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles