How Long Until Houston Homebuyers Break Even on Their Purchase?

by Peter Thomas Ricci

Homebuyers in Houston break even on their homes sooner than expected


It takes just a year and a half for homebuying to make more financial sense than renting in Houston’s housing market, according to a recent analysis from Zillow.

The “Breakeven Horizon,” as Zillow calls the measurement, looks at how long it takes before owning a home is more financially advantageous than renting, assuming the homebuyer secures a 30-year mortgage at today’s historically low interest rates.

At 1.5 years, Houston’s break-even point was lower than the national average of 1.9 years, and was among the lowest among major metro areas.

Here is a chart that better demonstrates how Houston compares with the rest of the nation’s large metro areas:

Metro Area Q4 2015 Breakeven Point (Years) Median Rent
U.S. Average 1.9 $1,381
Atlanta 1.4 $1,274
Boston 3.1 $2,247
Chicago 2.1 $1,633
Houston 1.5 $1,579
Los Angeles 4.1 $2,491
Miami 2.5 $1,822
New York 3.1 $2,384
Philadelphia 2.8 $1,558
Phoenix 2.3 $1,249
San Francisco 2.9 $3,338
Seattle 1.9 $1,931

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