San Diego: Break-even point for homes takes longer

It takes nearly four years to get to the point where it makes more sense to buy than rent a home in San Diego County, the longest time of any metro area in the nation, said a Zillow study released Tuesday.

The real estate website ranked the top 35 metro areas for the time it takes to hit a break-even point — the number of years you need to own and live in a home until it becomes more financially advantageous than renting the same house.

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The average for the nation, in the first quarter of this year, was one year and eight months. The break-even point in San Diego was three years and seven months, Zillow said.

Although some other California cities also took around three years, they had stronger income growth or their housing is predicted to appreciate in value more quickly.

The top-ranked city was San Antonio, Texas, where it took one year and four months to break even. Income growth was at 4.1 percent and employment growth at 2.8 percent. Zillow put the median home price at $151,500 and monthly rent at $1,311.

Income growth was at 1.3 percent in San Diego County and employment growth at 2.8 percent. Zillow said median home prices were $507,100 and monthly rent at $2,383.

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