PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — If you're looking to buy a home, you might want to set your sights on the Treasure Coast.
“We know that it’s going to be much less for us per month when we make a purchase," said Kelly Totten, who moved to Port St. Lucie two weeks ago from Maryland and is planning to buy a house.
A new study by Attom Data Solutions found St. Lucie County is the only county in our area where it’s still cheaper to buy than rent.
“They’re always pleasantly surprised the house that they’re getting to buy is cheaper than the house that they had been renting," said Carol Dols, branch manager for Gateway Mortgage in Port St. Lucie.
Dols said people come up to the area to buy houses, while continue to commute south to work in Palm Beach and Broward counties.
"They’re coming up here because it is more affordable, you get more house, more bang for your buck and they’re just commuting," Dols said.
However, Dols said it's tough to find houses in the right price range for first-time buyers.
“First-time home buyers are especially looking for something cheaper and there just isn’t any inventory out there for them, so we do need more affordable housing," she said.
While the Attom Data Solutions report uses a year-to-date three-bedroom home price of about $202,000 in St. Lucie County, Dols said the average is actually a bit higher, around $225,000, and even then, first-time home buyers in the area are typically looking for something much more affordable, around $150,000, which is what's harder to find.
The report found renters in Palm Beach County, Martin County and Indian River County are paying less per month for a three-bedroom property than buyers.