Buying remains cheaper than renting nationally so long as interest rates remain below 10.5% -- a level not seen since the 1980s.
In pricy metro areas such as San Jose, Calif., the tipping point is lower at 5.2%. In the New York-New jersey area, the math would likely change in favor of renting if rates were to rise to 6.8%.
Meanwhile, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported early Thursday that mortgage applications rose last week despite the rise in rates. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 5 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 14 percent compared with the previous week and was 6 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
-- Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj New York.>Contact by Email. Follow @shavenk