2018 Buying Still Beats Renting

Home ownership rates for adults under 35 have fallen to a historical low of 31% and the percentage of households that are renters is at its highest level in 50 years. Financial news outlets are offering a slew of headlines that suggest owning a home may no longer be the sound financial practice we once thought it was.

But a Trulia study released earlier this year found that buying is still better than renting for most people in most markets, including real estate hotbeds like San Francisco and New York City. Trulia even offers a handy calculator where you can figure out what makes the most financial sense given your current situation.

The reason owning trumps renting hasn't changed either. Home owners aren't just paying for a place to live: they're making an investment. Since 2000, homes have increased in value an average of 3.8% annually, not far off the pace of the S&P 500 (4.5% per year) and well ahead of inflation (2% per year).