I can see being anti-buying if you live in those areas and others where annual rent is, apparently 1/20 to 1/30 what the purchase price would be.
I would like to see an argument against buying when the ratio is 1/10 to 1/13, as it seems to be in the areas that I am familiar with. As long as you will not want/need to move for many years, it seems pretty clear to me that buying is cheaper than renting in these areas as long as one does not over-buy.
For example, compare owning a mortgage-free $300,000 house to renting that same house for $2000 per month, that's 1/12.5 ratio. With no mortgage, the biggest factor is the opportunity cost. The anti-buy zealot, who was linked to about 47 times in this discussion, suggests using the yield of Vanguard Real Estate Index as the opportunity cost, here: https://jlcollinsnh.com/2012/02/23/rent ... e-numbers/
Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund Admiral Shares (VGSLX) says this about it's yield:
The current unadjusted effective yield is 2.99% as of 11/30/2019, which is based on the full amount of REIT distributions (dividend income, as well as return of capital and capital gain).
The current adjusted effective yield is 2.19% as of 11/30/2019. The adjusted yield reflects a reduction in the income included in the yield based on the average return of capital and capital gain distributions received from the fund's REIT investments for the past 2 calendar years.
https://personal.vanguard.com/us/FundsY ... undId=5123
From that it seems to me that the opportunity cost would be 2.19%, based on J. L. Collins' suggested alternative. If we assume the house will appreciate at the rate of inflation, that means using 2.19% is assuming the alternative investment return is 2.19% real. While I previously had used a higher figure, I think that was off because I failed to realize that a real return should be used, if the assumption is the house will keep up with inflation.
With that, the opportunity cost of the $300,000 house is $6570 per year. In my area, your property tax would be about $4000 per year and insurance maybe $500-1000, I'll use $750. Use 1% to cover maintenance and repair, that is another $3000. The total is about $14,300 or about $1200 per month. I'll add $200 per month to pay someone to cut the lawn and clear snow. That puts owning at about $1400 per month, $600 per month less than rent.