Real Estate

Cheaper to rent than own a house in Sacramento in one of nation’s widest gaps, report finds

Median home ownership and rental prices are further apart in the Sacramento metropolitan area than nearly any of the most populous U.S. regions, according to an Urban Institute report released Monday.

Monthly mortgage payments in Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer and Yolo counties will eat up 32.9 percent of a median family income after a 3.5 percent down payment, the report found, while renting a three-bedroom house in those counties means giving up 26.4 percent of one’s paycheck.

The 6.5 percentage-point “rent gap” is fifth-highest in the nation, with San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle and San Diego metropolitan areas all showing greater discrepancies.

Median mortgage payments in San Francisco, Marin, San Mateo, Contra Costa and Alameda counties cost nearly 80 percent of the market median household income, giving that part of the Bay Area a 42.5 percent rent gap.

Urban Institute’s study examined median home sales and three-bedroom rental house prices in the U.S.’s 33 largest metropolitan areas based on data from sites such as Moody’s Analytics and Zillow, and examined census data to find each region’s median family income. Owning proved the more expensive option in 16 cities, including all 11 examined west of Texas.

Median home resale values in Sacramento County rose by 10 percent from October 2016 to October 2017, CoreLogic reported last week. Urban Institute’s study, which included CoreLogic data, reported Sacramento-area homes were the eighth-most expensive of the 33 areas surveyed, while rental properties ranked 15th.

Benjy Egel: 916-321-1052, @BenjyEgel

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