Although both home prices and rental prices are on the rise, in every single U.S. state, homeowners with a mortgage spend more money per month than renters on housing. That's according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2013-2017 American Community Survey five-year estimates, which tracks median housing costs across the country.
Exactly how much more money owners pay varies by state. In New Jersey, the discrepancy between the median monthly cost for renters and those with a mortgage is more than $1,100. In Arkansas, the disparity is just over $300.
Though the Census Bureau doesn't offer a reason why, other analyses have shown that owning is more expensive than renting because owners need to cover related costs such as maintenance, property taxes, repairs and insurance, in addition to handling their monthly mortgage payments, and those keep rising.
"The monthly costs of buying and owning a home that you occupy are up 14 percent over the past year, more than three times the annual increase in rent rates nationally, according to realtor.com. Rents are up just 4 percent," CNBC's Diana Olick reported in 2018.
Millions of Americans, especially young people, are currently locked out of homeownership. In addition to having to save up a substantial down payment, prospective home-buyers need to be prepared to pay closing costs, inspection fees and other expenses.
The silver lining to being a renter, then, is that you're probably saving money.
That said, although buying your own place is more expensive than renting on a monthly basis, owning is an investment that can pay off in the long run. Depending on where you live, your house's value can increase significantly over time, which could lead to a nice payout whenever you choose to sell.
For those who plan to stay in the same place long-term, owning gives you a stable living situation. And, once the mortgage is paid off, you've eliminated a major monthly expense and you can put that money toward other financial goals.