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Buying vs. renting: Which is cheaper?

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Saving a deposit can be a barrier to buying, but once you've got a mortgage and a home, how does the cost compare to renting?
Buying vs. renting: Which is cheaper?

Homeowners are up to 18% better off a month than renters, according to Halifax.

The gap is greatest in London, where homeowners save 18% on average (£3,727 every year), followed by the South East (17%), South West and Scotland (both 16%).

The research looks at the housing costs associated with a mortgage on a three-bed home, compared to the average monthly rent of the same property type in the same area.

Buyers across most regions save upwards of 10% when compared to renters in the same area.

The only exception is Yorkshire and The Humber, where homeowners still save compared to renters, but only by 3% on average – £235 per year.

Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax, said: “The overall gap between home buying and renting is at its smallest margin for 10 years, but this masks some significant regional variations where homeowners are making some considerable savings on monthly costs.

“While Londoners stand to save the most from home ownership compared to renting, buyers in the South East and South West of England and north of the border in Scotland are also reaping the benefits. Buyers in two thirds of UK regions are saving upwards of £1,000 a year from living in a home they own, with the smallest saving for homeowners in Yorkshire and Humberside at £227.”

Overall picture

At a UK level, homeowners are saving an average of £1,476 per year or £123 per month. This has reversed from 2009, when it was buying that was more expensive, and renters saved on average £209 per year or £17 per month.

Over the last 10 years, with house prices increasing, average monthly buying costs have also increased by 26% (£150). The cost of renting has increased by 33% (£186) over the past 10 years to £747.

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