Over the past year, we have on occasion highlighted the advantages of owning compared to renting. Zillow has given us reason to highlight the advantages once again.

Specifically, Zillow focuses on rising rents and slowing home-price appreciation. Zillow reports that monthly rents have grown at roughly twice the pace of wages since 2000. Americans are spending a greater share of their income on rent these days – roughly 30% versus 25% in the past. Home-price appreciation, on the other hand, continues to slow. At latest count, 5.4% year over year.

Zillow doesn't necessarily think that rising rents will drive homeownership rates – at a 20-year low – higher. We respectfully disagree.

If you are paying 30% or more of your income for rent, and that percentage continues to rise, owning becomes a more attractive alternative when future costs are factored in. After all, the key advantage of owning is that a price is locked in, especially when the purchase is financed with a fixed-rate loan.

We think the advantages of owning compared to renting will become even more apparent as the year progresses. Rent increases show no signs of abating, while home-price increases do. This is yet another reason we continue to cheerlead in favor of homeownership.

Information provided by Jessica Regan.

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