In cities, it is cheaper to buy a home than rent one: research

People in urban areas are often better off buying their own home rather than living in rent-controlled accommodation, the Volkskrant reported at the weekend.

The paper looked at the price per square metre of different sorts of accommodation in Amsterdam, Utrecht and the Rotterdam area.

It found that in Rotterdam, new tenants without housing benefit are paying around a third more to rent than buy a similar home. People earning over €21,000 a year are not entitled to extra help with housing costs.

In Amsterdam, however, people pay an average of €10.80 per square metre for a rent-controlled flat, compared with €11 per square metre to buy a similar home. But a family house is cheaper to buy than rent.

People who rent a home in the free sector pay twice as much as home owners. In Utrecht, for example, home buyers pay an average €7 per square metre, but tenants outside the rent-controlled sector can easily pay €16.

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