BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Benchmark mortgage rates have risen from a record-low 3.31% average last November to nearly 4% today, but a Trulia.com (TRLA) analysis estimates they'd have to soar to 10.5% before renting a home makes more financial sense than buying.
"Higher mortgage rates do make buying more expensive, but rates are still incredibly low compared to historic norms," Trulia Chief Economist Jed Kolko says.
Trulia recently analyzed for-sale and for-rent listings on its site to estimate how much mortgage rates would have to rise before leasing a place for seven years becomes cheaper than buying a comparable one.
The study found that even though mortgage giant Freddie Mac reported recently that average 30-year fixed rates have hit 3.93%, buying a place is still 41% less expensive over a seven-year period than renting.In fact, Trulia calculated that even if mortgage rates rise to 5% -- something few market watchers expect will happen for a year or more -- buying will still cost 34% less than leasing. "The math in the most-expensive markets starts to tip in favor of renting once mortgage rates
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