While buying a home is still more affordable than renting in more than half of U.S. markets, the Charlotte area is not one of them, according to RealtyTrac Inc.
In its recent 2016 Rental Affordability Analysis, RealtyTrac tallied 504 counties and found that for 58% of those housing markets, buying is more inexpensive than renting a home. However, in Charlotte's Mecklenburg County, renting was just slightly more affordable than buying, with residents expected to spend 26.7% of their average monthly wages on renting a three-bedroom apartment versus 27.6% of monthly income on house payments.
Though, the report did find that of the 52 markets that saw their share of the millennial population increase by at least 10% from 2008-2013, Charlotte was among the most affordable for rentals. Here, rent on a three-bedroom property was $1,200 in 2015 and is expected to rise 4.5% this year. Other most affordable rental markets for millennials were Fulton County near Atlanta, Durham County near Durham, Harris County near Houston and Dallas County near Dallas.
“Renters in 2016 will be caught between a bit of a rock and a hard place, with rents becoming less affordable as they rise faster than wages, but home prices rising even faster than rents,” said vice president at RealtyTrac.