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Buying a home is still cheaper than renting one

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Homeowners are saving on average £130 a month compared to those who are renting, according to the Halifax Buying vs. Renting Review.

The Halifax data highlights that the average cost of buying a home in the UK is now almost a fifth lower than renting, with the average monthly cost of buying a 3 bedroom house18% lower than the typical monthly rent for the same property type.

Average buying costs include mortgage payments, income lost by funding a deposit rather than saving, spending on household maintenance and repair and insurance costs.

Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, commented: “It is clearly encouraging that there has been a significant decline in the cost of buying a home for those able to enter the housing market since 2008.

“The improvement is due to a combination of lower mortgage rates and declining house prices. In contrast, market conditions for renters have deteriorated as rents have risen in the past two years.”

In 2011, the monthly cost associated with home buying was £78, or 11% lower than renting. Over the 12 months, buying costs have dropped by 3%, whereas the cost of renting has increased by 5%.

Ellis added: “Despite the improvement in buyer affordability, the housing market nationally continues to tread water.

“Those getting on the housing ladder still face challenges, most notably in getting a deposit, and this challenge, along with the considerable uncertainty regarding the economic outlook, is still contributing to subdued housing demand.

“However, it is worth noting that once homebuyers are on the first rung, their monthly costs are notably lower.”

Halifax say that the reason home buying has improved compared to renting is largely due to the 43% drop in home buying since 2008 – caused by a marked fall in both house prices and mortgage rates.

Despite this, the number of buyers entering the housing market remains weak, largely weakened by the size of the average deposit required and economic uncertainty.

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