rent buy miami
  • % saved buying: 38%
  • Median home price : $300,000
  • Median rent: $2,250

Conditions in South Florida favor buying, but buyers should proceed with caution. The Miami metro area's housing market is volatile and while it's likely that buying will work out better than renting over the course of seven years there are factors that could put your investment at risk.

Many of the home sales here are discretionary, meaning properties are bought as vacation homes or investments -- both of which are subject to economic booms and busts. Also, when politics grow heated in many Latin American countries, foreign buyers flock to Miami to park their assets. That can add a boost to the local housing market at times, and hurt it at others.

Related: Venezuela money helps fuel Miami housing boom

Trulia expects home prices to appreciate at about 2.3% a year here, which is still enough for buying to be the better choice -- at least, for now.

First published March 3, 2014: 12:09 PM ET
Source: Trulia
In order to get a more accurate comparison, Trulia estimated sale prices and rents for similar homes in similar neighborhoods, instead of using the average sale price or rental rate. It further calculated the initial total monthly costs of owning and renting, including maintenance, insurance and taxes, as well as future costs of owning and renting, such as price and rent appreciation and inflation. Trulia also included one-time transactional costs, including down payments, sales proceeds and security deposits. It assumes that buyers get a 30-year fixed mortgage with a 4.5% rate and put 20% down and that residents stay in their home for at least seven years.

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