For many years in Buffalo's history, it has been cheaper in the the long run to buy your home as opposed to renting it in Western New York. With a largely stable housing market through the 2008 housing recession, Buffalo was fortunate to not be hit as hard as other areas around the nation.

However, over the last few years, the 716 has seen remarkable increases in home values and rental prices. This has expanded to the point where Buffalo is now considered to have the hottest housing market in the nation. With the region seeing record housing inflation, is it still true that buying is cheaper than renting?

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According to data from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the fair market rent price for a 3-bedroom housing unit in the Buffalo metro area is $1,424 per month. To determine that number, HUD uses a formula based upon data from the US Census Bureau along with information from housing organizations and landlords in the region.

While there will be different fluctuations in different neighborhoods, with the more desirable areas having a higher price and the less desirable areas having a lower price, this figure represents the fair price based on all factors being treated equally.

US Department of Housing and Urban Development
US Department of Housing and Urban Development

This number also represents a significant change over the fair market rent price from just 10 years ago, which was just $908 for a 3-bedroom housing unit in 2014, a nearly 60% increase.

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While home prices have also increased significantly, they do not seem to have increased to the same factor as rental prices.

According to the Buffalo Niagara Association of REALTORS, the current median home sales price in Western New York is $190,000, which is also a significant jump compared to 10 years ago when the median sales price was $116,700 in 2014.

However, the sales prices don't necessarily consider mortgage interest rates and how those can impact affordability. So, while home sales prices have also jumped 60% over the last ten years, with current mortgage interest rates hovering around 6.7%, a home sold for $190,000 would have a mortgage payment of approx—$ 1,250 per month.

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It appears, based on these factors, that it's still cheaper to buy a house in Western New York than to rent.

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