It’s a tossup when looking whether it's cheaper?

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Real Estate

When it comes to residents looking for the best housing value in metro Orlando, it's a tossup on whether it's better to rent or buy.

A recent report from looked at the top metros where it is cheaper to buy a home rather than rent.

In Florida, the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro landed in the top 10 places where it pays off to buy. On average, a monthly rent payment costs local renters $1,605 a month, roughly 32% of a renter's income. An average mortgage payment, however, costs $1,494, roughly 30% of a resident’s income. That difference lands the Tampa metro at the No. 8 spot. The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro area also landed among the best markets to buy with rent costing 45% of a resident's income compared to 40% for buying. The Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metro area fell on the border between buying and rent with mortgage and rent payments both costing 29% of a resident’s income. The Cleveland-Elyria metro area in Ohio ranked as the best market to buy in. The Chicago-Naperville-Elgin and Pittsburgh metro areas also ranked high.

"There isn't a one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether it makes more sense to buy than rent. However, this is encouraging news for the millions of millennials who are approaching peak homebuying age and may be considering shopping for a home this spring," Chief Economist Danielle Hale said in a statement. "With interest rates expected to rise over the coming months, buyers may need to act sooner rather than later to take advantage of today's affordability or be prepared to adjust their target purchase price."

Meanwhile, Orange County rang in the new year with a hot housing market. There were 1,416 existing Orange County home sales in January, up 16% from January 2020. The most alluring spots for homebuyers are in the southwestern parts of the county, including Winter Garden and Windermere.

The housing market in Orange County and throughout Central Florida is benefiting from an influx of buyers from the Northeast and California and people taking advantage of historically-low mortgage rates. Home sales started to soar last year in the late spring, and they are expected to remain high in 2021, according to PNC Bank Economist Abbey Omodunbi.