New Report Finds Waiting to Buy a Home Could Cost Thousands

30-Year Financial Benefit of Owning Ranges From More Than $1 Million in Santa Cruz, Calif. to $200,000 Nationally

May 28, 2015

SAN JOSE, Calif., May 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- With interest rates and home prices expected to climb in the next year, the financial penalties of delaying or forgoing a home purchase in today's market have become very steep, according to the inaugural Opportunity Cost Report released today by®, a leading provider of online real estate services operated by News Corp [Nasdaq: NWS, NWSA] subsidiary Move, Inc. The proprietary report examines a wide range of factors, including the long-term financial impact of owning versus renting a home, the likely monetary gain renters forego in waiting to buy and the financial benefits of homeownership by market.

National Outlook

30-Year Total Financial Benefit of Owning

Penalty of Waiting 1 Year to Buy

Penalty of Waiting 3 Years to Buy




"Current market conditions give buyers the opportunity to build substantial wealth in the long-term, compared with renters and later buyers, in advance of  the projected increase in mortgage rates and continuing price appreciation," said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for®.  "The problem is inventory is low, which has many would-be home buyers – especially first timers – standing on the sidelines and missing out on potentially material financial gains."

Nationally, the estimated wealth an average buyer would accumulate over a 30-year period based on today's dollars totals $217,726.  Although some markets are more buyer-friendly than others, national data shows homeowners see significant financial benefits as compared to lifetime renters. In 88 percent of MSAs, buying a home produces a financial benefit of at least $100,000 over 30 years.

Market Outlook: 10 Markets with Long-Term Gains Exceeding $500,000


30-Year Total Financial Benefit of Owning

Penalty of Waiting 1 Year to Buy

Penalty of Waiting 3 Years to Buy

Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA




Santa Rosa, CA




San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA




Urban Honolulu, HI




Napa, CA




Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO




Salinas, CA




San Diego-Carlsbad, CA




San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA




Fairbanks, AK




Ten markets offer an especially considerable upside to owning, with estimated 30-year financial gains above$500,000, and opportunity costs of waiting three years as high as $200,000.  These MSAs, in California and other Western states, are relatively expensive markets with strong housing demand and limited supply. The potential long-term wealth in these areas is the greatest nationwide, and likewise, the long-term financial penalty for delaying ownership is substantial, due to price appreciation, escalating rents, and higher mortgage rates on the horizon. (An analysis of the Top 100 MSAs follows.)

"This analysis looks solely at the financial reasons to buy a home, based on assumptions about rising mortgage rates and changes in home values," Smoke said. "It's important to remember that a home purchase decision is deeply personal. Potential buyers need to consider factors such as upcoming life events, job security and potential relocation, in addition to financial benefits, because they too can have a significant impact on ownership."