Deutsche Bank did a recent study to get the answer to this question and the answer is “it depends”. They also looked at major cities to determine if it is better to rent or buy and Austin came up in the area where it is emerging that renting is better than buying. As it turns out in Austin a renter will spend 5% less than a homeowner living in the same kind of housing. The three main reasons for renting vs. buying were: 1) Renters pay a smaller share for property taxes, insurance, and maintenance than a homeowner 2) Renters can use the savings noted above for investments (I must add that real estate “is” and investment) 3) Renters have a greater flexibility to move in event of job opportunities (of course I must add that is why there is property management in Austin!). So as stated at the top: the answer depends!