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Cheaper to buy than rent in Boston, report finds

“Despite rising home values, homeownership remains very accessible for buyers that can scrape together a down payment,” Zillow’s chief economist said.
“Despite rising home values, homeownership remains very accessible for buyers that can scrape together a down payment,” Zillow’s chief economist said.Associated press/file 2014

Buying a home in Greater Boston is significantly cheaper than renting, according to a report from the real estate tracking firm Zillow.

The median mortgage payment on a home in the Boston metro area consumes 23 percent of a typical household’s income, compared to a median monthly rent of 34 percent. Nationally, the advantage for buyers was even larger, with the median mortgage payment amounting to 15 percent of the median household’s income and average rental costs around 30 percent.

“Despite rising home values, homeownership remains very accessible for buyers that can scrape together a down payment,” said Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist, in a statement. But, he added, “it still remains so difficult for so many potential buyers to make those particular stars align, largely because renting is so unaffordable these days. It’s very difficult to come up with a down payment when so much of your monthly paycheck – especially on an entry-level salary – is going to your landlord instead of into your savings.”

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Boston was the eighth priciest market for both renters and home buyers from July to September out of the 32 metro areas that Zillow analyzed. As a share of median income, buying was most expensive in California and tended to be cheapest in the midwest.


Jack Newsham can be reached at jack.newsham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TheNewsHam.