It's 43% more affordable to buy in Denver | Buying a Denver area home is a "no-brainer"

It's 43% more affordable to buy in Denver | Buying a Denver area home is a "no-brainer"

Posted by Brian Burke on Thursday, February 27th, 2014 at 1:08pm.

Trying to decide whether to rent or buy?

In Denver, it's 43 percent cheaper to buy, which analysts blame on a tight rental market that isn't being replenished by new construction.

"Rent prices are going up a lot and there are not a lot of new units coming on line throughout much of the state," said Ryan McMaken, an economist with the Division of Housing. "Rents go up, and that makes purchasing a house much more attractive."

Earlier this month, the Colorado Division of Housing and the Apartment Association of Metro Denver said the average monthly rent climbed $63 in 2013 to $1,041.

"People continue to move here and people continue to form households here," McMaken said. New households include people marrying and moving into their own homes, people moving from other states, and people divorcing and creating two households from one.

"So as long as that continues, you have new people coming into the market who need somewhere to live," he said. "We are not building enough units to cover the number of new household formations."

Nationwide, the report said that buying a home using a 30-year fixed rate mortgage at 4.5 percent makes buying, on average, 38 percent cheaper than renting, compared with 44 percent a year ago.

The Trulia report did sound a note of caution: Uncertainty about future home-price appreciation means "buying isn't always a safe bet."

The rent-versus-buy math differs from market to market ” each metro area has its own normal purchase and rent prices, and property taxes and home-price appreciation differ.

The report called buying a home a "no-brainer" in places including Denver, and Detroit where buying is 66 percent cheaper than renting. But buyers will have to think hard about leaving the rental market in Honolulu, where buying is only 5 percent cheaper.

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