Housing Wire's Kelsey Ramírez takes a look at a new study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) that identifies those markets where the rent vs. own debate is significantly tipping in favor of buying. And it appears the South and the Midwest are the stars of the show.

To zero in on its top 10, NAR combed through employment growth trends as well as household income and what it takes to qualify for a mortgage in nearly 100 metros. Nationally, about 28% of renters are qualified to buy a home, but the markets NAR identifies blow the roof off of that figure.

“Even in a time of expanding home sales, steady job growth, and historically low mortgage rates, the homeownership rate recently tumbled to its lowest level in over five decades as many renters struggle to juggle escalating rents without commensurate income gains,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said.

“However, this new study reveals that there are several affordable, middle-tier markets with solid job gains and a large segment of renters who earn enough to buy,” Yun said.

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