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Lenders in expensive housing markets benefit from originating mortgages with large dollar amounts, but low affordability often makes it difficult to qualify borrowers.

While owning a home is always advantageous to renting because it helps build long-term wealth, it's not always economically feasible — particularly in markets where consumers spend a substantial amount of income on housing.

Here's a look at a number of high-priced areas, some just outside of major cities, where it costs less to own than rent. The data, from RealtyTrac, shows the counties where homebuyers spent the highest percent of average wages to buy median-priced homes that are still more affordable than a three-bedroom rental during the second quarter of 2016.



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