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The article says renting in NYC is much cheaper than owning, and then gives a distracting bubblicious excuse to get you to ignore that simple fact. And you fell for it. No surprise.
I don't see Manhattan rent to buy as favoring owning at this point unless one makes assumptions about future rent increases or property value increases. Using current market data renting is better. And while owning has rewards renting does not , that's more of a mufti-year issue.
Why do people believe Trulia only when it confirms what they want to think?
The problem with the map is that it doesn't include how difficult it is to get a mortgage today, and how many properties should be on the market but aren't b/c the owners are under water. Rents are at all-time highs right now precisely b/c it is so hard to get a mortgage, and the number of properties for sale is artificially low b/c so many people can't sell w/o having to pay the bank for the privilege.
It will take years for the full effects of this housing bubble to normalize - it did horrible, horrible damage to the economy & the middle class.
It's NYC metro in TOP, not Manhattan.