However, there's a clear split between urban/suburban markets, and their rural counterparts: Typically, home ownership is more affordable than renting in lightly populated markets, while renting is more affordable than owning in major cities and their surrounding suburbs.
The annual report used wage data from the BLS, along with recently released data on fair-market rent data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The study also incorporated ATTOM's proprietary data about publicly-recorded home sales. The ultimate conclusion was that, in 455 of 855 US counties analyzed (roughly 53%), home ownership is more affordable than renting.
The gist is that home ownership is a more financially sensible option than renting in a slim majority of American markets.