Trulia: Still cheaper to buy than rent in SF

If you’re looking for your piece of the San Francisco pie, you may be wondering whether it’s better to buy or rent. Well, according to a recent report by Trulia, it’s the former. While the gap is narrowing due to rising home prices and rising interest rates (though these are somewhat counterbalanced by rising rents), it’s still considered cheaper to buy.

Using Trulia’s interactive map, you can calculate the average rent and for-sale price on an identical set of properties. For the purposes of the report, Trulia looked at all homes listed on the site for sale and for rent from December 2013 through January 2014, estimating prices and rents for similar homes in similar neighborhoods in order to get the most accurate comparison.

Trulia notes very emphatically that they are not just comparing average rent and prices of homes on the market. “(This) would be misleading since rental and for-sale properties are very different,” they write. “Most importantly, for-sale homes are roughly 50 percent bigger, on average, than rentals.”

It’s important to remember that San Francisco isn’t even close to the world’s most expensive market, according to the Economist. The top 10: Singapore, Paris, Oslo, Zurich, Sydney, Caracas, Geneva, Melbourne, Tokyo and Copenhagen.

Don’t forget that Paragon itself has a rent-vs-buy calculator where you can input all your financial parameters. And if you’re looking for more specific answers to your questions, please give me a call.

Dreaming of San Francisco? Cece Blase offers local advice to San Francisco buyers, sellers and owners– and feeds the dreams of those who wish they could live in Tony Bennett’s ‘City by the Bay.’ Call 415-577-0809 or email

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