In the overwhelming majority of the 50 largest cities across the U.S., monthly rent is more than the mortgage payment for single-family homes. In several cases, much more.
Global answering service and chat support company Moneypenny compiled data from Zillow on median rent and mortgage payments from July 2014-July 2019.
In order to calculate the monthly mortgage payments, Moneypenny took the median home sale prices during the same time period and in the same major cities and then used nationally-average mortgage terms: 30-year fixed rate at 4% with approximately 6% down.
Once the two figures — median monthly rent and median monthly mortgage — were calculated for each city, they were compared side-by-side. The data may surprise you.
From Less Than Half To More Than Triple
In just seven of the 50 cities analyzed, tenants pay less rent than the owner’s mortgage payment each month. In 28 of the cities — well over half, tenants are paying more than 150% of their home’s mortgage. The city with the highest rent-to-mortgage ratio, Miami, shows that renters pay more than 300% of their landlord’s monthly mortgage payment on average.
Rounding out the top five are New York (276%); Riverside, California (231%); Boston (230%); and San Diego (221%). At the opposite end of the spectrum is New Orleans, where tenants pay just 49% of their home’s mortgage each month, followed by Richmond, Virginia (57%), and Kansas City, Missouri (82%).
An interesting data point is that the median monthly mortgage payment in Miami is $720, while in New Orleans it’s $2,857.
While it makes perfect sense that rent prices in hot real estate markets are higher, some may still be surprised by the disparity between rental amounts and monthly mortgage payments. However, it’s important to note that even in the cities with the biggest gap, landlords are not necessarily pocketing the excess and enjoying a nice profit. While it’s certainly possible that they may be, homeowners are more likely putting some of that money back into the house in the form of improvements and maintenance, as well as setting some of it aside for large emergency repairs.
If you are in the market for a new home or interested in listing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.