As Rents Soar, 2015 May Be the Year to Buy a Home

In this Oct. 27, 2014 photo, a realty sign is posted in front of a home for sale in Carlsbad, Calif. Real estate date provider CoreLogic releases its September report on U.S. home prices on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
In this Oct. 27, 2014 photo, a realty sign is posted in front of a home for sale in Carlsbad, Calif. Real estate date provider CoreLogic releases its September report on U.S. home prices on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
In this Oct. 27, 2014 photo, a realty sign is posted in front of a home for sale in Carlsbad, Calif. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

(NBC News) – As rents soar and the supply of rental housing remains constrained, 2015 could be the tipping point, pushing more renters to home ownership.

While younger Americans may prefer the flexibility of renting, home ownership is becoming more enticing, financially. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently announced new low-down payment loans, mortgage rates are still very attractive, and renting is just plain more expensive than owning in many metropolitan markets.

In 2014, U.S. renters paid a collective $441 billion in rent, up $20.6 billion, or 4.9 percent, from 2013, according to a new report from Zillow, a real estate company. That translates to $26 more per month for the average renter. In some markets, however, the increase was far more. San Franciscans paid over 14 percent more in rent, while renters in Denver shelled out nearly 11 percent more. New York City area renters had it the worst, paying more than 10 percent of all the rent paid in the nation.

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