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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Buying a home may actually be cheaper than renting, a home-pricing website said. says monthly payments are less for homeowners than renters.

"Owning a house is about 38 percent cheaper than renting," said Valley real estate expert Dean Wegner.

This average monthly payment does not include maintenance costs for homeowners.

Wegner said the reason it's cheaper to buy is the recession.

"This is much different than 2005 when renting was so much cheaper than owning because people were paying $400,000 for a house that you can buy for $200,000 now," he said. "Home prices went down 56 percent (during the recession), and they still haven't fully recovered in all areas. People are getting bargains left and right.

"Meanwhile, the rental pool got very aggressive. After the recession, a lot of people had to run to rent. As a result, the rental prices went up quite substantially."

Wegner said those rental prices have not come down. said that with a 4.5 percent, 30-year fixed rate loan, it costs about 33 percent less to buy opposed to renting in Phoenix. That figure is based on the homeowner staying for seven years, pay 25 percent in taxes and itemize deductions.

In Tucson, buying is 42 percent cheaper.

To read the report from Trulia, click here.

Bob McClay, Reporter

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