September 21, 2021

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Rent payments are higher than mortgages in these cities

In most of the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., the typical cost of rent exceeds the typical cost of a monthly mortgage payment – and that spells opportunity for homeowners considering renting out their properties in those locales, according to real estate website Zillow.

The company said it ran the numbers and found that typical rent payments were higher than mortgages in 33 of the nation’s 50 biggest metros, with Memphis, Tenn., having the greatest gap, followed by Miami and Atlanta. Southern cities dominated the top 10, but a few Midwestern metros hit the rankings, too.

Zillow also pointed to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, which showed that seven out of 10 rental properties in the U.S. are owned by individuals and that those individuals typically own just one or two properties. 

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“Single-family homes comprise about one-third of the nation’s total rental stock,” Zillow economist Alexandra Lee said in a statement. “Owners who do rent out their properties can provide both much-needed rental inventory in tight markets as well as sought-after space and amenities for families looking to move up from an apartment.”

Zillow also reported its data shows that while rent growth across the U.S. slowed dramatically following the coronavirus outbreak, it rebounded quickly in 2021 with Zillow’s numbers showing rents in July are up annually in all 50 major metros. 

Here’s a breakdown of the top 10 cities in the U.S. where typical rents are more than typical mortgage payments.

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Top 10 cities where rents exceed mortgages:

Memphis, Tennessee (iStock)

1. Memphis

Typical monthly rent: $1,504

Typical monthly mortgage: $948

Difference: $556

Size ranking: 41

Miami

2. Miami

Typical monthly rent: $2,249

Typical monthly mortgage: $1,727

Difference: $522

Size ranking: 8

Atlanta

Atlanta, Georgia (iStock)

3. Atlanta

Typical monthly rent: $1,787

Typical monthly mortgage: $1,363

Difference: $424

Size ranking: 9

Birmingham, Alabama (iStock / iStock)

4. Birmingham

Typical monthly rent: $1,271

Typical monthly mortgage: $868

Difference: $403

Size ranking: 49

5. Tampa

Typical monthly rent: $1,819

Typical monthly mortgage: $1,435

Difference: $384

Size ranking: 19

Indianapolis

Indianapolis, Indiana (iStock) (iStock)

6. Indianapolis

Typical monthly rent: $1,375

Typical monthly mortgage: $1,044

Difference: $331

Size ranking: 33

Orlando Florida

Orlando, Florida (iStock)

7. Orlando

Typical monthly rent: $1,758

Typical monthly mortgage: $1,444

Difference: $314

Size ranking: 27

Charlotte, North Carolina

 Charlotte, North Carolina (iStock) (iStock)

8. Charlotte

Typical monthly rent: $1,628

Typical monthly mortgage: $1,339

Difference: $290

Size ranking: 24

Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (iStock) (iStock)

9. Oklahoma City

Typical monthly rent: $1,210

Typical monthly mortgage: $931

Difference: $279

Size ranking: 42

Detroit

Detroit, Michigan (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) (AP Newsroom)

10. Detroit

Typical monthly rent: $1,387

Typical monthly mortgage: $1,119

Difference: $268

Size ranking: 12