Are mortgage payments cheaper than rental payments?

The prospect of owning a home is appealing in many ways, save the financial commitment and maintenance requirements.

Being responsible for home loan monthly repayments and property upkeep for many years to come can be quite intimidating for those not keen on planning too far into the future.

It has always also been easy to argue that sticking with your rental strategy is cheaper on a month-to-month basis than buying real estate.

That argument may no longer hold water, however, with last week’s (November 2) release of the RP Data Buy vs. Rent Report – Edition 2.

Results show that it may actually be more affordable to pay mortgage payments than rental payments in 388 Australian suburbs.

Due to market circumstances, there are 63 per cent more areas of Australia where mortgage payments are cheaper than rents since the last report released in August. 

It may be a great time to make your way out of the rental cycle and look for your first home loan.

“With capital city dwelling values almost six per cent lower than when they peaked and discounted variable mortgage rates 125 basis points lower from their 2011 peak, coupled with fixed mortgage rates more than 210 basis points lower, we may see consumers returning to the property market as they realise that residential property may not cost them that much more to own than rent,” said RP Data lead researcher national research director Tim Lawless.

“In some suburbs it may actually be cheaper than renting especially where we are seeing evidence of tight rental markets resulting in rental increases and lower home values.”

The numbers were calculated by estimating the difference between monthly mortgage payments and monthly rental payments based on median value and median asking rents of houses and units within Australian suburbs.

Based on the interest variable and principal mortgage rate, the mortgage figure was found to be lower than the rental amount.

“For many buyers now may be a good time to either re-enter the market or buy their first home,” added Mr Lawless.