WOULD-BE first homebuyers are finding it tough to break the shackles of the rental cycle with only a handful of Toowoomba suburbs where it is cheaper to buy than rent.
RP Data's Buy vs Rent Report for December places Toowoomba ahead of the rest of the country, with 185 towns and suburbs where taking out a mortgage is cheaper than a rental lease.
Houses in Miles topped the state's list with a $1430-a-month surplus for homeowners who take out a 5.65 per cent variable interest loan with principal compared to median rental prices.
However, affordable homes are notoriously hard to find in the town as owners cash in on a housing shortage caused by mining companies in the area.
Houses in Wandoan and units in Chinchilla were next on the Darling Downs with $755 and $575 respective savings.
Toowoomba's four entries to the list fell well short of their mining-town neighbours and were limited to apartment-style living.
RP Data national research director Tim Lawless said the results were typical for major centres where the buy-in price for units tend to be lower compared with weekly rents.
"In some suburbs it may actually be cheaper than renting especially where we are seeing evidence of tight rental markets resulting in rental increases and lower home values," he said.
"For many buyers now may be a good time to either re-enter the market or buy their first home."
Mount Lofty units represented the biggest saving at $189 a month, followed by Harristown at $58, Darling Heights at $39 and North Toowoomba which broke even.
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