Buying Makes Sense in These 66 Metros

It’s more affordable to buy than to rent in many U.S. markets, according to data compiled by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Of the 100 most populous metro areas, 57 have average three-bedroom rental costs higher than the cost of a 6-percent interest rate loan for a typical low-priced house, the coalition said in a just-released report. That means people renting two-bedroom apartments would be better off buying a low-priced home in 24 of the 100 largest metro areas.

However, when determining if it’s better to buy or rent, credit history is a crucial component to consider. A prospective buyer who is credit worthy of a 6 percent mortgage will pay a third less in monthly payments than someone who qualifies for an 8 percent loan.

And in many cities that can be a difference of hundreds of dollars and push them over the line to where renting actually makes more sense.

These are the top 10 markets where it makes sense to buy rather than rent. The full list of 66 markets is available at MSN.com.

  1. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas
  2. San Antonio, Texas
  3. New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, La.
  4. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas
  5. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
  6. Rochester, N.Y.
  7. Syracuse, N.Y.
  8. Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y.
  9. Jackson, Miss.
  10. Austin-Round Rock, Texas

Source: MSN Real Estate, Marilyn Lewis

Fastest Growing Real Estate Markets

Despite the housing crisis, there are cities where prices are expected to rise significantly in the coming years. Here are the top 10 cites where analysts for Money Magazines expect price appreciation.

  1. McAllen, Texas
  2. Rochester, N.Y.
  3. Birmingham, Ala.
  4. Syracuse, N.Y.
  5. Buffalo/Niagara Falls, N.Y.
  6. New Orleans, La.
  7. Scranton, Pa.
  8. Grand Rapids, Mich.
  9. Baton Rouge, La.
  10. El Paso, Texas

Source: Money 06/15/

10 Fastest Growing U.S. Cities

The fast-growing areas in the United States are in the Sunbelt, with Texas leading the way, according to data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Dallas-Fort Worth added more than 162,000 residents between July 2006 and July 2007, more than any other metro area. Three other Texas cities Houston, Austin, and San Antonio also were in the top 10.

Experts credit much of the growth in the South to strong local economies and housing prices that are among the most affordable in the United States.

A report earlier this month by Global Insight found that housing prices in the Dallas area were undervalued by as much as 30 percent.

Other areas experiencing growth included the New Orleans area, which is recovering from Hurricane Katrina and grew by 4 percent or nearly 40,000 people. During the same survey last year, the population of New Orleans dropped by nearly 290,000 people.

Meanwhile, Detroit lost more than three times as many people as any other metro area its population declined more than 27,300. Other areas losing more than 5,000 people were Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Columbus, Ga., Youngstown, Ohio, and Buffalo, N.Y.

The 10 biggest gainers:

  1. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas: 162,250
  2. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga.: 151,063
  3. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.: 132,513
  4. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas: 120,544
  5. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.: 86,660
  6. Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, N.C.-S.C.: 66,724
  7. Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, Ill.-Ind.-Wis.: 66,231
  8. Austin-Round Rock, Texas: 65,880
  9. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev.: 59,165
  10. San Antonio, Texas: 53,925

The 10 fast-growing metro areas

  1. Palm Coast, Fla.: 7.2 percent
  2. St. George, Utah: 5.1 percent
  3. Raleigh-Cary, N.C.: 4.7 percent
  4. Gainesville, Ga.: 4.5 percent
  5. Austin-Round Rock, Texas: 4.3 percent
  6. Myrtle Beach-Conway-N.C.-Myrtle Beach, S.C.: 4.2 percent
  7. Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, N.C.-S.C.: 4.2 percent
  8. New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, La.: 4 percent
  9. Grand Junction, Colo.: 3.7 percent
  10. Clarksville, Tenn.-Ky.: 3.7 percent

Source: The Associated Press, Paul J. Weber (03/27/08)