AUSTIN (KXAN) — If you live in or are considering moving to Austin, housing has certainly been on your mind. The key question when it comes to finding a place to live is buying vs. renting: which is better?

The Austin Board of Realtors, or ABoR, released a report looking into the topic earlier this year.

“Simply put, homeownership has been proven to be the best way to create generational wealth, as home buying is a long-term investment that poses significant benefits over time,” ABoR said in a press release. “This was further supported by the 2023 Central Texas Buy vs. Rent Index, which was released earlier this year by the Austin Board of Realtors. The report found when comparing the tradeoff of buying vs. renting, homeownership tends to generate more wealth in contrast to renting and investing, a comparable alternative to homeownership.”

Kelea Youngblood, ABoR’s chief marketing officer, joined KXAN’s Jennifer Sanders to further break down the study. You can also view the full study below.

The transcription below of their conversation has been edited for grammar and clarity.

Sanders: Let’s just break down first, the methodology of this report showing really why owning a home is better than renting and perhaps investing elsewhere.

Youngblood: Yeah, so the Austin Board of Realtors released this report for just that reason to answer the question, “Is it better to buy versus rent in Central Texas?” The overwhelming results of the report showed that it is much more financially favorable to purchase a home than to rent and invest elsewhere. To further break that down, it actually found that it is more financially favorable for first-time homebuyers, let’s say about 75% more favorable for them to purchase a home, than rent in Central Texas.

Sanders: What are the financial implications of the trade-off between purchasing and renting and investing?

Youngblood: Yeah, so buyers purchase homes because it’s a good investment. And if you are looking to build long-term wealth for your household, then purchasing a home is probably the first thing that should be on the list.

Sanders: We talk to a lot of people every day about affordability here in Austin, a huge conversation, and there are a lot of people, especially in the younger generation who would like to buy but renting is really their only option. What would you tell them as they try to really attain homeownership?

Youngblood: It may not be in everybody’s cards today, but it certainly can be in your cards tomorrow, and somebody who is renting and wants to build long-term wealth for their household should seek out the help of a professional realtor that helps them with resources that can navigate and provide some planning to help them purchase the home and maybe even their dream home in the future.