Home prices are rising around the country, including in metro Atlanta. According to RealtyTrac’s® November reports, prices in the Atlanta real estate market were up 15 percent in November 2014 as compared to a year prior. In addition, the Augusta and Richmond metro area saw a 15 percent year-over-year appreciation, while the Chattanooga, Tennessee market, which also includes parts of northern Georgia, saw a 10 percent price appreciation.

Even with these rising home prices, a new Zillow report shows that owning a home is more affordable than renting. In fact, in most metro areas, it’s even more affordable to own a home now than it was 15 years ago. Plus, it is now more cost effective to buy than rent in terms of total income. On average, homeowners will spend 15.3 percent of the area’s median income on housing expenses. In contrast, renters will spend 29.9 percent of the area’s median income on rental housing costs on average.

Although owning a new home is more affordable then renting, many renters have not entered the housing market due to their inability to save for a down payment. As one of the biggest obstacles in the way of homeownership, a recent Demand Institute Study shows that Millennials, a large percentage of the nation’s renters, have just $3,000 saved in non-retirement accounts.

However, many experts are expecting 2015 to be a great year for housing as more Millennials choose to enter the market. Thanks to new incentives, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s three percent down payment options, homeownership will become attainable for even more prospective buyers.

Do you plan to transition from renting to owning your own home this year? Let us know what’s helping you make the decision to own in the comments below!

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