When the COVID-19 pandemic hit America and sent people fleeing from small apartments in the biggest cities, it immediately propelled rent and home prices in opposite directions. However, despite quickly escalating home prices, there are still many places across the country where the typical monthly mortgage payment is on par or below market rent, offering opportunities for both prospective home buyers and real estate investors.
There is plenty of evidence to confirm that homes are indeed getting more expensive, especially in relation to rental units. Just before the start of 2020, home and rent prices were growing at the same rate: 3.7% year-over-year, according to the Federal Reserve’s tracking of the urban rent and home price indexes. Within months, however, rental costs experienced an uncharacteristic cooling off that slowed growth to less than 2% annually by April 2021. Meanwhile, the effects of the pandemic nearly quadrupled the growth rate of home prices, catapulting it to 14.6% by April 2021.