Homeownership remains cheaper than renting nationally and in all of the 100 largest metro areas. Can you guess how much cheaper it is on average to buy instead of rent?

According to Trulia’s 2014 Rent vs. Buy Report, rising mortgage rates and home prices have narrowed the gap over the past year, though rates have recently dropped and price gains are slowing. Now, at a 30-year fixed rate of 4.5%, buying is 38% cheaper than renting nationally, versus being 44% cheaper one year ago. Even though prices increased sharply in many markets over the past year, low mortgage rates have kept homeownership from becoming more expensive than renting.  Nationally, rates would have to rise to 10.6% for renting to be cheaper than buying – and rates haven’t been that high since 1989.

The bottom line is that buying a home makes sense. Rental costs have historically increased at a higher rate of inflation. Lock in a mortgage payment now before home prices and mortgage rates rise as experts expect they will.

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