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ST. LOUIS – Have you been looking to buy a house in the St. Louis area? Well, depending on where you are looking, it may be more affordable to rent than buy?

Owning a median-priced home is more affordable than the average rent on a three-bedroom property in 58% of the counties analyzed in ATTOM’s 2022 Rental Affordability Report.

In the area where buying is more affordable, that means homeownership expenses consume a smaller proportion of average local wages than renting according to ATTOM, a curator of a property database.

Trends favoring homeownership are seen most in less-populated suburban and rural areas while renting is usually more affordable in the biggest metropolitan areas.

St. Louis County is the largest mid-sized county (population of 500,000-999,999) where rent is more affordable. Renting is more affordable in 63% of counties of this size.

Besides St. Louis County, the report found it also was more affordable to rent in St. Charles County and Monroe County, Illinois. When it comes to buying, it was more affordable in St. Louis City, Lincoln, Warren, Franklin, Jefferson Counties in Missouri and St. Clair and Madison County in Illinois.

Below is ATTOM’s Buy or Rent heat map. Click on your area to learn more information.

Overall, the Midwest and South have the most affordable homeownership and rental markets.

“Home-prices are rising faster than both rents and wages while wages rise faster than rents. And the housing market boom of the past decade keeps pushing home values to new records. Yet home ownership still remains the more affordable option for average workers in a majority of the country because it still takes up a smaller portion of their pay,” said Todd Teta chief product officer with ATTOM. 

Teta goes on to say that the trend is slowly shifting towards renters and it could be a major force in easing price increases in 2022.

The Rental Affordability Report analyzes recently released data from HUD and the Labor Bureau.