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Clients dreaming of buying a home? It’s cheaper to rent in these markets

Buying a home is a rite of passage for many people, the culmination of years of hard work. Home ownership has been promoted by both political parties as the American dream.

But as it turns out, owning isn’t always the best decision anymore.

Indeed, renting a home is more affordable than buying in 59% of U.S. housing markets, according to ATTOM Data Solutions. The firm’s latest research — 2019 Rental Affordability Report — shows that renting a three-bedroom property is actually more affordable than buying a median-priced home in 442 of 755 U.S. counties analyzed for the report.

“With rental affordability outpacing home affordability in the majority of U.S. housing markets, and home prices rising faster than rental rates, the American dream of owning a home may be just that — a dream,” Jennifer von Pohlmann, director of content and PR at ATTOM Data Solutions, says in a statement. “With home price appreciation increasing annually at an average of 6.7% in those counties analyzed for this report and rental rates increasing an average of 3.5%, coupled with the fact that home prices are outpacing wages in 80% of the counties, renting a home is clearly becoming the more attractive option in this volatile housing market.”

Scroll through the following list and see some of the counties where it is more cost efficient to rent rather than own. ATTOM did not rank the counties in it's report. This list is a sampling of the counties in the report.

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Los Angeles County, California
Population: 10,038,388
Average 3-bedroom rent: $2,593
Average home sales price: $630,000
Percent of averages wages to rent: 50.8%
Percent of average wages to home price: 86.3%
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Cook County (Chicago), Illinois
Population: 5,236,393
Average 3-bedroom rent: $1,683
Average home sale price: $240,000
Percent of average wages to rent: 31.8%
Percent of average wages to home price: 37.7%
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Harris County (Houston), Texas
Population: 4,356,362
Average 3-bedroom rent: $1,624
Average home sales prices: $218,762
Percentage of avg wages to rent: 29.5%
Percentage of average wages to home price: 34.1%
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Maricopa County (Phoenix), Arizona
Population: 4,018,143
Average 3-bedroom rent: $1,661
Average home sales price: $275,000
Percent of average wages to rent: 37.7%
Percent of average wages to home price: 42.7%
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San Diego County, California
Population: 3,223,096
Average 3-bedroom rent: $2,776
Average home sales prices: $615,000
Percent of average wages to rent: 56.3%
Percent of average wages to home price: 87.7%
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Orange County, New York
Population: 375,384
Average 3-bedroom rent: $1,829
Average home sales prices: $221,000
Percent of average wages to rent: 44.9%
Percent of average wages to home price: 49.6%
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Washington, D.C.
Population: 647,484
Average 3-bedroom rent: $2,368
Average home sales prices: $559,000
Percentage of average wages to rent: 31.9%
Percentage of average wages to home price: 53.1%
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Orleans Parish, Louisiana
Population: 376,738
Average 3-bedroom rent: $1,387
Average home sales prices: $200,000
Percentage of average wages to rent: 33.1%
Percentage of average wages to home price: 35%
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Anchorage County, Alaska
Population: 299,107
Average 3-bedroom rent: $2,016
Average home sales prices: $347,021
Percentage of average wages to rent: 42.1%
Percentage of average wages to home price: 53%
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Honolulu County, Hawaii
Population: 984,178
Average 3-bedroom rent: $3,203
Average home sales prices: $775,000
Percentage of avg wages to rent: 74.4%
Percentage of average wages to home price: 118.3%