9 U.S. Cities Where It’s Cheaper to Own than Rent a Home


By Becky Gaunt

When the housing market crashed in 2008, it triggered a surge in the number of renters in the hardest hit markets. Many Americans lost confidence in the long-held belief that owning a home was the way to go after endless foreclosures and a wave of people trapped in homes worth less than they paid swept the country. Additionally, many Millennial’s are more hesitant than previous generations to lay down permanent roots and prefer to rent. Of course, the increased desire for rental property has also led to a spike in those prices. There are many places, particularly in the south and the Midwest, where buying a home is still more affordable than renting. Here are 9 U.S. cities where it’s cheaper to own than rent a home.

1) Little Rock, Arkansas

When SmartAsset.com compiled the data to rank the cities, it assumed a 4.5 percent mortgage rate, $2,000 closing costs, and a 20 percent down payment. Little Rock came out on top. The average monthly mortgage payment is $496, while the average rent is $1,146. The average home price is $196,120. Little Rock also has an overall cost of living below the national average, according to Sperling’s Best Places (88 on the index with 100 being the Unites States average). Housing is the biggest factor, but the city also ranks as less expensive than national averages in healthcare, transportation, and groceries. Utilities is the only category that ranked more expensive than the U.S. average. Amenities and healthcare are pros for living here, while the crime rate is a deterrent.


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