For just about everyone, buying is 35 percent cheaper than renting on a national basis, based on March home values and rents, according to Trulia.
But here’s a twist that may be surprising. Even for retirees, buying is cheaper than renting in all major metros by 42 percent.
At the city level, Florida offers the best deals on purchasing a home over renting, and popular retirement communities such as Sun City, Ariz., and The Villages, Fla., offer some of the widest margins, Trulia says.
How does renting ever make more sense for retirees?
Here’s how Trulia puts it: “Buying in retirement is only better than renting if retirees care about leaving inheritance.”
But if retired households don’t care about the equity in their home at the end of their life, renting a home is better option in 98 of the 100 cities with the most retirees.
“This is because the value of the equity in a home is a significant contributor to the financial benefits of homeownership,” Trulia explains. “If we leave out this value because retirees don’t care about it, the benefits of homeownership compared to renting fall.”
Trulia’s biannual Rent vs. Buy Report assumes a 30-year fixed rate mortgage with a 20% down payment and 25% tax bracket for households moving every seven years.