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Is Owning Really Cheaper than Renting in Chicago?

by Peter Thomas Ricci

Home prices may be rising at a rapid rate, but they’ve done little to minimize the financial appeal of homeownership, according to a new study from Trulia.

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Trulia released its Winter 2013 Rents vs. Buy Report earlier today, and its findings were a pleasant surprise: though asking prices have risen at a faster rate rate than asking rents in the last year – 7 percent for prices in February compared to 3.2 percent for rents, according to Trulia’s own Price Monitor – homeownership nonetheless remains a more affordable option in every one of the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan markets, what with interest rates at historic lows.

Here in the Chicagoland area, Michael Parent, the managing broker for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in St. Charles and 2013 president-elect for MORe, said Trulia’s findings are definitely consistent in his market.

“With interest rates at an affordable mark it makes much more sense to purchase than rent,” Parent said. “We are seeing new homebuyers purchase and have their mortgage payment much less than what their rent would be. They also benefit from being away from landlords or associations with restrictions. I have even seen some homebuyers purchase a condo and their mortgage is less than what the association dues are.”

How does Chicago’s housing affordability, though, compare with the rest of the nation? See our infographic below to find out:

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