Now May Not Be the Best Time To Purchase a Home

house with for sale sign
Via Flickr
Adé Hennis
November 9, 2023


Monthly mortgage rates have historically cost the same or less than monthly rent payments on an apartment. From 1996 to 2003, homeowners tended to put more cash into their homes than tenants, and were a contributor to mortgage rates being cheaper than monthly rent. But as of late, much of that has changed.

With mortgage rates being fairly high, a recent analysis shows that the average new monthly mortgage payment is 52 percent higher than the average apartment rent, the highest it's been since at least 1996.

It’s estimated that if a person took out a 30-year mortgage on a $430,000 home with a 10 percent down payment, the monthly mortgage payment would be around $3,200. That is over $1,000 more than the estimated median monthly rent payment in the U.S. for this past September, which is $2,011.

The average 30-year mortgage rate reached eight percent in September, the highest it’s been in two decades. With interest rates being high, that only makes mortgage payments more expensive.

Although it may be more expensive to purchase a home now, it doesn’t mean that landlords may have more power in raising rent prices. Fannie Mae expects U.S. multifamily building vacancy rates to reach 6.25 percent in 2024, higher than the 15-year average of 5.8 percent.