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Business Observer Tuesday, Jun. 26, 2018 4 months ago

Southwest Florida markets among the most home ownership friendly

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Fort Myers, Sarasota markets lead state in buy-vs.-rent affordability

Among the nation’s most advantageous metro markets for buying a home versus renting, two on the west coast of Florida are ranked among the top 25.

Cape Coral-Fort Myers and North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton lead Florida, respectively, as the two strongest home ownership markets relative to the comparative cost of renting, according to a study from personal finance company SmartAsset.

SmartAsset gathered data of average rents and home prices in metro markets nationwide, then compared the financial impact of buying to renting. It considered metropolitan areas with a population greater than 200,000.

The study compared the total costs of buying and renting a typical home or rental for a household earning $100,000 a year. Assumptions included a mortgage rate of 4.5%, closing costs of $2,000 and a down payment of 20%. It compared the capital outlay break-even point in buying versus renting, the point at which the total costs of renting become greater than the total costs of buying.

“Our study included eight metros in Florida, which had an average break-even year of 2.7, signifying a similar market to the national average of 2.6,"  SmartAsset Senior Editor Ross Urken tells Coffee Talk.

Nationally, Cape Coral-Fort Myers ranked No. 21, with the cost of renting exceeding the cost of buying in 2.1 years. The average mortgage payment is $873 compared to an average rent of $1,322 in the region, the study shows. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton ranked No. 24 nationally, at a threshold of 2.2 years, with an average mortgate-to-rent comparison at $1,094 to $1,578. The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater region, at 2.7 years with an average mortgage payment of $814 and average rent of $1,466, ranked No. 53 nationally and No. 6 in Florida. 

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