Is it cheap to rent or become a homeowner near you?

(NEXSTAR) — Mortgage rates more than doubled in the US last year. Latest rate hike by the Federal ReserveI doubt that buying a home will be easy any time soon.

Buying a home can seem staggeringly expensive right now, but in some cities, rent may not be so cheap.

After analyzing approximately 600 U.S. cities and looking at average mortgage and rent payments as outlined in a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics study, SmartAsset found homes in six cities (all in Florida or Arizona). I discovered that buying can be cheaper than renting.

Surprise, Arizona was the city with the largest difference between mortgage and rent payments. SmartAsset found a staggering $192 difference between the average rent of $1,692 and the average mortgage of $1,500 in this city northwest of Phoenix.

Another Arizona city, Avondale, has an average rent of $93 higher than the average mortgage, making it the fourth largest difference on SmartAsset’s list.

Rounding out the list of places where a mortgage is cheaper than renting were the Florida cities of Deltona, Palm Bay, Kissimmee and Palm Coast.

Below is the dollar difference in cities where rents are higher than mortgages on average.

city average mortgage amount average rent dollar difference
Surprise, Arizona $1,500 $1,692 $−192
deltona, florida $1,187 $1,355 $−168
palm bay, florida $1,174 $1,304 $−130
Avondale, Arizona $1,499 $1,592 $−93
kissimmee, florida $1,281 $1,361 $−80
palm coast, florida $1,369 $1,403 $−34

Just off the list above is Northport, Florida, where the average mortgage is just $2 more than the average rent.

Northport is one of 15 cities where SmartAsset found less than $100 difference between average mortgage and rent payments. Again, Florida occupied about half the city. Even in her three Indiana cities, the dollar difference in housing costs is small.

SmartAssets were found in 10 cities (half of which are in California). On average, renting is more affordable than owning.

That’s especially true in Berkeley, California, where it’s about $2,000 cheaper to rent than to pay a mortgage, $3,967 to $1,923, according to reports. Berkeley is the only city where his mortgage payment interval exceeds $2,000.

Based on SmartAsset analysis, people living in the following 10 cities are more likely to rent than own.

city average mortgage amount average rent dollar difference
Berkeley, California $3,967 $1,923 $2,044
santa monica, california $4,000 $2,157 $1,843
San Francisco, California $3,964 $2,167 $1,797
newton, massachusetts $4,000 $2,210 $1,790
New Rochelle, New York $3,538 $1,811 $1,727
redmond, washington $3,728 $2,061 $1,667
union city, new jersey $3,058 $1,410 $1,648
Yorba Linda, California $3,567 $1,951 $1,616
Santa Barbara, California $3,782 $2,167 $1,615
Elizabeth, New Jersey $2,864 $1,253 $1,611

In over 70 cities, mortgage payments are at least $1,000 higher than the average rent.

Of all the cities analyzed, SmartAsset found that Fort Smith, Arkansas had the lowest average rent at $677 and Palo Alto, California had the highest average rent at $3,063.

Flint, Michigan had the lowest average mortgage at $866. Newton, Massachusetts and his eight California cities of Palo Alto, Dublin, San Ramon, Newport Beach, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Pleasanton, and Santa Monica were his highest at $4,000. SmartAsset noted that in some of these cities, the data they reviewed listed average mortgage payments of “$4,000 and above.”

SmartAsset’s analysis did not take into account other costs associated with buying a home, such as brokerage fees and real estate transfer taxes. It also does not take into account any maintenance or repair costs associated with the home, which if you are a renter, may be covered by the rental company or landlord. Is it cheap to rent or become a homeowner near you?

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