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Buying a starter home in the top 50 metros cost $1,111 (60.3%) more per month than renting in August, as median U.S. rents recorded their fourth consecutive month of year-over-year declines, according to data from

The median asking rent in the 50 largest metros dipped to $1,752, down $7 from last month and down $25 from the peak in July 2022 – although they remain $336 (23.7%) higher than the same time in 2019, prior to the pandemic.

Only three of the top 50 U.S. metros favored buying starter homes rather than renting last month: Birmingham, Alabama; Memphis; and Pittsburgh.

“Rents have registered steady declines for the past four months and, while they remain well above pre-pandemic levels, when you factor in the impact of record-high mortgage rates and high home prices, it’s understandable that many would-be homebuyers are choosing to remain on the sidelines,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist at “The downward trend in rental prices reduces the sense of urgency, giving renters more time to save for a home. In the period ahead as rents soften, we expect more households will remain renters for longer.”