Rents are rising, time to buy a home?
Nationwide, average rent was $1,048 at the end of 2012, up nearly 4 percent over one year earlier. Also, the rent to mortgage ratio was nearly 108 in the same time period. Anything over 100 means a mortgage payment is cheaper than rent for the median homeowner. Analysts expect rents to rise 4 to 4.5 percent per year through 2016.
Indeed, renters spent over 24 percent of their disposable income on obligations like rent, car loans and other debt, compared with just 14 percent for the average homeowner.