Money

10 US cities where it's cheaper to buy a home than rent

Almost everywhere in the U.S., it's cheaper to rent a home than to buy.

But in select cities, homeowners come out ahead, thanks to a low cost of living and favorable housing market.

To find the places where owning is cheaper than renting, financial services site SmartAsset gathered data on the average rent and home prices in the 100 largest metro areas in the US. The data, which SmartAsset shared with CNBC, compares the total costs of buying and renting a typical home in each metro area for a household earning $100,000 a year.

For the "buy" scenario, SmartAsset made the following assumptions: a 4.5 percent mortgage rate, closing costs of $2,000, and a 20 percent down payment.

The cities that made the cut can be found exclusively in the South and Midwest, which is unsurprising considering that those regions typically rank among the least expensive places to live in the country.

Read on to see the top 10 cities where it's cheaper to buy than rent.

10. Omaha, Nebraska

Average monthly mortgage payment: $583
Average monthly rent: $1,255
Average home price: $250,822
Years needed to break even: 1.63

A host of innovation programs with state backing have given small businesses in Omaha a boost.
Andrew Reese | Getty Images
A host of innovation programs with state backing have given small businesses in Omaha a boost.

9. New Orleans

Average monthly mortgage payment: $648
Average monthly rent: $1,276
Average home price: $235,127
Years needed to break even: 1.59

New Orleans' French Quarter
Anne Rippy | Getty Images
New Orleans' French Quarter

8. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Average monthly mortgage payment: $561
Average monthly rent: $1.127
Average home price: $216,308
Years needed to break even: 1.58

Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Sean Pavone | Getty Images
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

7. Cincinnati

Average monthly mortgage payment: $544
Average monthly rent: $1,167
Average home price: $220,633
Years needed to break even: 1.49

Highway bridges heading into downtown Cincinnati.
William Manning | Getty Images
Highway bridges heading into downtown Cincinnati.

6. Columbia, South Carolina

Average monthly mortgage payment: $460
Average monthly rent: $1,202
Average home price: $189,787
Years needed to break even: 1.47

Columbia, South Carolina
James Robinson | E+ | Getty Images
Columbia, South Carolina

5. Gary, Indiana

Average monthly mortgage payment: $558
Average monthly rent: $1,136
Average home price: $205,163
Years needed to break even: 1.34

An administration building in Gary, Indiana
benkrut | Getty Images
An administration building in Gary, Indiana

4. Tulsa, Oklahoma

Average monthly mortgage payment: $449
Average monthly rent: $1,093
Average home price: $174,697
Years needed to break even: 1.34

Tulsa, Oklahoma
Davel5957 | Getty Images
Tulsa, Oklahoma

3. Greenville, South Carolina

Average monthly mortgage payment: $485
Average monthly rent: $1,008
Average home price: $175,235
Years needed to break even: 1.33

Greenville, South Carolina.
SeanPavonePhoto | iStock | Getty Images
Greenville, South Carolina.

2. Louisville, Kentucky

Average monthly mortgage payment: $575
Average monthly rent: $1,126
Average home price: $225,826
Years needed to break even: 1.29

Louisville, Kentucky
Raymond Boyd | Getty Images
Louisville, Kentucky

1. Little Rock, Arkansas

Average monthly mortgage payment: $496
Average monthly rent: $1,146
Average home price: $196,120
Years needed to break even: 1.26

Little Rock, Arkansas
CWells Photography | Flickr | Getty Images
Little Rock, Arkansas