The company took data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey on average rents and home prices. SmartAsset compared buying to renting in every metropolitan area in America with a population above 200,000.
Columbia had the sixth-highest rent-vs.-buy index at 96.1.
According to the report, Columbia’s average home price is $189,787 with a monthly mortgage payment of $460 a month. In comparison, the average monthly rent in the capital was listed at $1,202.
SmartAsset compared the total costs of buying and renting in each metro for a household earning $100,000 a year. For the “buy” scenario, the company assumed a mortgage rate of 4.5%, closing costs of $2,000, and a down payment of 20%.
For each metro, the company found the break-even point in the buy-vs.-rent decision, or the point at which the total costs of renting become greater than the total costs of buying. In Columbia, the break-even point was 1.5 years.
The top metro in the survey was Little Rock, Ark., with an index of 100. Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin finished with the third-highest index, at 98.7.