Win for home owners

PAYING off a mortgage has proven cheaper than renting in 388 suburbs across the country, with the Darling Downs one of them.

RP Data's Buy vs Rent report showed the number of suburbs across the country where making principal and interest payments on a 5.9% variable mortgage was cheaper than forking out rent, had jumped from 238 in August to 388 in October, a rise of 63%.

Regional areas dominated the list, accounting for 246 suburbs.

In Queensland, the number of suburbs where it was cheaper to pay off a loan than pay a landlord rose from 84 in August to 147 in October, with 105 of those in regional parts of the state.

Wade Real Estate agent Denis Courtney said while he could not see a distinct trend towards buying, as opposed to renting, in Warwick, this time of year generally brought with it an influx in inquiries and sales.

RP Data national research director Tim Lawless said on a large scale, significantly lower interest rates and falling house prices were creating an environment in which an increasing number of people would look to enter the property market.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has cut the official cash rate by 1.25% from its peak of 4.5% last year, while city housing prices have fallen 6%.

"In some suburbs it may actually be cheaper than renting especially where we are seeing evidence of tight rental markets resulting in rental increases and lower home values," Mr Lawless said.

"For many buyers now may be a good time to either re-enter the market or buy their first home."

The median sale price of Warwick homes saw an increase of 186% from 2002-2011 from $88,250 - $252,000.

See tableausoftware.com/products/public for the interactive report.



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