Renting is now cheaper than owning a home, a lot cheaper. The average rent in the Carolinas is around $1500 per month, while the cost of owning a home is $1912 per month in North Carolina and $1726 in South Carolina. When you consider the cost of owning a home goes beyond the monthly mortgage to include homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, HOA fees, maintenance expenses, and utilities, those currently renting may want to consider renewing their current rental agreement. 

Since the pandemic, high-income renters earning $150,000 or more with a Bachelor’s degrees or higher, reached 2.6 million according to and U.S. Census data. Those surveyed can clearly afford to buy a home but choose not to at this time, which is not surprising considering current mortgage rates and the rising costs of homeowner’s insurance. In North Carolina, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is 8.026%, and 8.047% in South Carolina. This rate is based on the purchase of a $300,000 home with 20% down and a decent credit score. 

The demand for housing and a low supply drives up home prices, and at a time when inflation is high, mortgage interest rates rise. Experts aren’t predicting a decrease in housing prices any time soon. In fact, Fannie Mae forecast housing prices to rise 3.9% this year and an additional 0.7% in 2024. Meanwhile, rent in the Carolinas has decreased slightly from month to month as landlords have to compete for tenants. Jon Leckie with recommends renters negotiate monthly rates to get the best deal.