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Report: Renting is more affordable than buying a home in Kern County

ATTOM Data Solutions releases a report detailing the current housing market
Posted at 7:46 AM, Jan 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-09 10:46:13-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — According to an ATTOM Data Solutions report buying a home is more affordable than renting in 53% of the U.S. housing markets.

Local housing experts say it all depends on your budget and what you're looking for in regards to housing.

"The current market here in Bakersfield for renters is a little difficult. There is a high demand for rental homes especially in the Northwest area and a lack of inventory," Melinda Clemmer, a realtor for Clemmer & Company Real Estate Service said.

The report states that the average rent for 2020 in Kern County for a three-bedroom apartment is $1,461. In comparison, last year the report states that the average rent was $1,429.

Jeanne Radsick, the president of the California Association of Realtors said the benefit of being a homeowner is stability.

"The benefits of being a homeowner far outweigh being a renter. But there are people that this is their only option. They can't qualify for whatever reason by the benefits are so strong for being a homeowner," Radsick said.

While Clemmer said renters can budget by knowing the cost for their rent each month.

"There's no unaccounted expenses, the hot water heater you don't have to replace that. You know you're going to pay that rent value every month," Clemmer said.

However, if the market crashes that can impact the prices for renters.

"It is less expensive to rent but as soon as we fall in a downward crisis and people are pushed out of their homes due to foreclosure or short-sells, our rent values do increase because those people are pushed out of the buyers market and owners market," Clemmer said. "They're pushed into the rental market and in turn supply and demand pushes up the rental".

In comparison to other cities in the state, home prices in Kern County are affordable. According to the report, the home prices from January to November in 2019 for Kern County were an average of $233,000. However, in Los Angeles County the average was $645,000 and $1,550,000 in San Francisco County.

"If you went to Los Angeles, that same house that $250,000 here, which is frankly our median sales price. If you went down to Los Angeles, that house is going to cost you anywhere from $750,000 to $950,000," Radsick said.

Michele Cooper, a sales manager with San Joaquin Valley Mortgage said because of today's low-interest rates, it's more affordable to own a home.

"If they can do 100% financing where they had to put no money out of their own pocket, get a rate as low as 3.5% and have the house payment only a couple of hundred dollars more than they are paying for rent, and that becomes their own property and not somebody else's property," Cooper said. "I think it's a win-win for a consumer to actually own a home and take those benefits".

For information on renting versus buying across the country, see ATTOM Data Solutions' data map below:

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