(MoneyWatch) Despite skyrocketing home prices and rising interest rates, owning a home is still cheaper than renting across the country.
Nationally, according to real estate website Trulia's Rent vs Buy Report for Summer 2013, owning is 35 percent cheaper than renting, and in some places it is as much as 65 percent cheaper than renting.
That's not just based on the average price of a rental unit versus the price of owning a home anywhere within the same city. Trulia calculated the costs of similar properties in similar neighborhoods to get an apples-to-apples comparison; then mixed in the start-up costs including maintenance, insurance and taxes; calculated the future costs; and then added in one-time costs like closing, down payments and security deposits to come up with its rent versus buying equation.
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The biggest factor affecting that equation right now is rising mortgage rates, according to Trulia.
In places like San Jose, mortgage rates only have to inch past 5.2 percent to make renting cheaper than buying -- a scenario that is more than likely to happen sometime next year. But in parts of Michigan, Florida and Ohio, interest rates would have to hit 17 percent or higher before rents are cheaper than mortgage payments.
The last time the mortgage market saw interest rates that high was in the early 1980s, and interest rates have never been that high before or since.
So it's likely that unless there's substantial growth in home prices accompanied by a huge drop in rental prices, some places will always be cheaper to buy--way cheaper. If you're looking to buy in a place where owning is half as expensive as renting, try these 10 spots.