WITH concerns about the lack of home affordability, it may surprise many to discover that it is cheaper to buy than rent in some areas across the Northern Rivers.
A study by RPData has discovered property hunters in parts of Byron, Lismore and Casino could save almost $1000 a year if they bought rather than rented.
Jessie Wells and her partner Damian Claffey are convinced owning a home is better than renting, and bought in Lismore last month with the help of Wal Murray&Co First National Lismore.
She said they were caught in a rental trap when they moved to Perth but on returning to the Northern Rivers they realised renting here would be more expensive than buying.
"I'd rather be paying off my own house than someone else's," Ms Wells said.
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She said they are significantly better off financially than when renting.
"We were paying around $50 more a week renting."
Ms Wells said owning makes where they live feel more like "home". Renting is not very secure.
Selling principal at Ray White in Lismore, Chris Harley said he had seen an increase in home ownership in the past few months.
He said the combination of low interest rates at the bank and the drop in housing prices is "a fundamental recipe" for property buying as housing becomes more affordable.
"Money is cheap for the banks and prices of houses have dropped off in the last two years," Mr Harley said.
The growth in home ownership is being felt nationally with the Australian Bureau of Statistics reporting the number of mortgages being taken out has risen almost 2% in the May quarter after successive interest rates drops.