For many years, renting has been a more affordable option than buying a home. But that's changing.
New research by CoreLogic shows that for one in three properties nationally, it's cheaper to pay off a home loan than to rent.
As a tenant, you get a place to live, but there's little financial benefit in the long term.
If you have to pay to put a roof over your head, you may as well pay the "rent" to yourself - which is a less painful way of looking at your mortgage.
Not everyone agrees with me on this. I've come across plenty of analysis showing that renting can be the better option over the long term.
The argument is based on the idea that mortgage repayments are likely to be significantly higher than the rent you'll pay for an equivalent property.
So, you'd be better off in the long run paying relatively modest rent rather than a high mortgage, and invest the difference in assets that appreciate over time such as shares.
The sticking point for me is that we have a powerful reason to keep up with home loan repayments: fall behind and the bank can repossess your home.
This is about as strong an incentive to keep whittling away at your mortgage as you're going to get.
As a long-term tenant, there simply isn't a similar incentive to continually set aside money to invest each week, every week, for a 25-year period.
The whole "rent is better than buying" argument has been further tossed on its head in recent years thanks to historically low interest rates.
CoreLogic analysis shows that nationally, it's now cheaper to pay off a mortgage than it is to pay rent on one in three (36 per cent) Australian properties.
That figure falls to one in four (26 per cent) in our capital cities, and is below 10 per cent in Sydney and Melbourne.
But across regional areas, two-thirds of homes can be cheaper to own than rent.
As CoreLogic notes, this sort of analysis is a good reminder for renters to weigh up whether it's time for a change in tenure.
I know that getting into the property market is not easy, especially for first home buyers, and particularly in our most expensive cities - Sydney and Melbourne.
However, the effort is worthwhile.
Owning a home remains a sensible goal, and I believe it's one of the cornerstones of personal wealth.
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