For those pondering retirement, is owning a home or renting a place the better alternative. Trulia's blog sets out to find answers and learn where which strategy works best.

Nationally, buying is slightly cheaper than renting compared to last year. For all households (retiring or not) who move every seven years and can afford to put 20% down, it’s 34.8% cheaper to buy – becoming slightly cheaper from 34.2% last year. Locally, buying ranges from being 52.3% cheaper than renting in New Orleans versus just 14.4% cheaper in Honolulu.

For retirees, buying is cheaper than renting in all major metros by 41.8% At the city level, Florida offers the best deals on purchasing a home over renting, and popular retirement communities such as Sun City, Ariz., and The Villages, Fla., offer some of the widest margins.

Does renting ever make more sense for retirees? Buying in retirement is only better than renting if retirees care about leaving inheritance. If retired households don’t care about the equity in their home at the end of their life, renting a home is better option in 98 of the 100 cities with the most retirees. This is because the value of the equity in a home is a significant contributor to the financial benefits of home ownership. If we leave out this value because retirees don’t care about it, the benefits of home ownership compared to renting fall.

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