Buying a house is still more affordable than renting a place with similar square footage in 58 percent of U.S. housing markets, according to RealtyTrac.

RealtyTrac released its 2016 Rental Affordability Analysis last week and found it's cheaper to buy a house than rent in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties.



The report looked at average three-bedroom rental units and homes in 54 counties across the U.S., and compared numbers from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as well as weekly wages through the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In Bernalillo County, RealtyTrac found the average wage earner would spend 36.6 percent of their income on a monthly home payment, compared to 37.7 percent of their income on rent. In Sandoval County, the disparity was even more apparent, with residents having to spend 33.8 percent of wages on a home, compared to 39 percent of take-home pay on rent.

Pete Veres, Certified Residential Specialist with RE/MAX in Albuquerque, NM agrees that buying a home in many cases may have a lower monthly payment. You can also have some tax benefits and build equity for yourself. Most buyers are not aware how easy it is to get a Free Loan Pre-Qualification. In fact, some buyers may even qualify for a downpayment as low as $500.00. For a Free Report click here: Why Rent When you can Buy?

RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist said with rents rising faster than wages in most markets, it may be a good time to buy for new homeowners.

In markets such as Albuquerque, New Mexico, where home prices are still relatively affordable, 2016 may be a good time for some renters to take the plunge into homeownership before rising prices and possibly rising interest rates make it increasingly tougher to afford to buy a home.

On the other hand, RealtyTrac found it's cheaper to rent than buy in Santa Fe County. The average Santa Fe worker would have to spend more than half of their income to afford a house payment in The City Different, compared to about 39.1 percent on rent.

As expected, it's cheaper to rent than buy in bigger markets on the coasts and in Texas. RealtyTrac has an interactive map showing four New Mexico counties and data from other states. Click the map below to view the interactive map.