As Irvine real estate agents, we work with all types of clients – buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants. When working with buyers and tenants, the same question comes up all of the time: is it better and cheaper to buy an Irvine home or rent one? While many factors come into play when deciding to rent or buy, the simplest comes down to pricing and your budget; in essence, what can you afford?
As the housing recovery has taken hold over the past couple of years, the rental market has also experienced a resurgence as many potential buyers were finding it difficult to obtain a home loan once lenders tightened the purse strings. While lending has begun to loosen over the past year or so, the rental market continues to be incredibly packed, to the point where landlords cannot raise their rents quickly enough. A recent article in Realtor Magazine (“Rents Surge to Highest Pace in 6 Years“) highlights recent studies from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that rents are rising at the fastest pace in 6 years. The main cause of this is the lack of inventory – there simply aren’t a lot of places to rent these days. In fact, Orange County shows the lowest rental vacancy rate in the nation at 2.2%.
For potential investors interested in buying Irvine real estate as a rental property, this data is fantastic news. Irvine home prices have risen over the past year but are still nowhere near the peaks of 2005-2006; great deals are still on the market, and the competitive Irvine rental market means you will have low vacancy periods while being able to charge higher rents. For people who are unsure about whether to buy or rent, this data may swing you to the buying side as mortgage interest rates are still historically low and there are great deals to be found throughout the Irvine marketplace.
Living in Irvine is a great experience, regardless of whether you own or rent. However, the current marketplace definitely favors buyers at this time and is incredibly attractive to investors. Don’t miss out on the many opportunities that may be found in the Irvine real estate market.