Here Are The Cities Where It's Cheaper To Rent Than Own, And The Ones That Are The Total Opposite

    You can let your city dictate your direction, or pick a city and pick a path.

    Figuring out where you're going to live shouldn't be so hard, but here we are, folks. Everyone is trying to get the best bang for their buck when it comes to housing.

    Of course, the question of renting vs. buying comes up, and while buying was previously always seen as the smarter financial move — and renting the cheaper one, these days, the numbers are pretty close when it comes to average monthly mortgage prices as opposed to average monthly rent prices.

    Redfin recently did a deep dive to figure out which of the US's 50 biggest metropolitan areas are cheaper to buy a house in than to rent a home in and found that was the case in just four cities. Here's what they found.

    Cheerful Family Moving In New Home

    It's cheaper to buy in Cleveland, Ohio, where 56.8% of properties have estimated monthly mortgage costs lower than rent prices.

    Three houses in a Cleveland, Ohio neighborhood

    It's also cheaper to buy in Detroit, Michigan, where rent prices are almost 25% higher than mortgage prices on average.

    Colorful Houses in a neighborhood on the east side of Detroit

    Philadelphia is another area where buying can make more sense, with nearly 60% of properties reporting higher estimated monthly rent prices than mortgage prices.

    Rows of brownstone apartment buildings in Center City with windows, stoops and planters in Philadelphia

    The last of the four cities where it's cheaper to buy is Houston, Texas.

    Aerial view looking directly down on a curve on a suburban street in a planned exclusive residential community in the Houston, Texas area

    But the survey also found that there were quite a few cities where the two were comparable, a situation that's new to many of these areas, which were considered more affordable options before the pandemic began.

    You could rent or buy depending on your situation in Cincinnati, Ohio, where the difference is $120 a month between the two, on average.


    It's also less than a $200 difference each month in Kansas City, Missouri.

    Kansas City, Missouri

    That difference can be as little as $29 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, depending on what you need.

    classically vintage Pittsburgh neighborhood

    And it's just over $100 per month between renting and buying in San Antonio, Texas.

    Stock photograph of a residential district and the downtown skyline of San Antonio Texas USA at twilight

    There are still a lot of cities where renting is the clear choice (and for the average American, the only feasible option).

    The trend in the Bay Area sustains renting is way cheaper than buying, as seen San Jose, where it's as much as 165% more expensive to buy than rent — the largest percentage premium of all 50 cities studied.

    High quality aerial stock photos of downtown San Jose California

    It's 139% more expensive on a monthly basis to buy instead of renting in San Francisco, California.

    San Francisco, California homes

    It's cheaper by nearly 100% monthly to rent in Oakland, California, despite home prices starting to come back down this year.

    Oakland, California

    The same is true in Anaheim, California, where it can be nearly $4,000 more expensive monthly to buy.

    Sunset view of a palm lined street in downtown Anaheim, California, USA

    Renters remain at an advantage in Los Angeles, California, seeing prices almost 80% lower than mortgage prices monthly.

    Stairs leading to craftsman house

    Outside of California, you'll find it much cheaper to rent in Denver, Colorado.

    House in Colorado

    Nashville, Tennessee is another hotspot where renters are at an advantage.

    Nashville, Tennessee home

    Both rent and mortgage prices are starting to settle in Seattle, Washington after a tough stretch of years, but it's still cheaper to rent.

    Waterfront Homes in Seattle Washington

    Last but not least, you'll definitely want to rent in Washington, DC, where rent is nearly half of the average monthly mortgage payment.

    Close-up of a row of townhouses in Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, DC

    What are things like where you live? Would you relocate based on these real estate trends? Discuss in the comments!