Opher, thanks for the comment. That is a fantastic point. I agree with you that the true comparison is between owning and renting.
For a lot of people, whether it’s better to rent or buy will depend on their local real estate market. If you live in Manhattan it probably makes more sense to rent, given the price/rent ratios. (Although for most people in Manhattan they may have no choice in the matter given the real estate prices).
Outside of the hottest real estate markets I agree most would likely be better off in the long run owning rather than renting.
I own personally and even with the expenses it had helped me increase my net worth in a relatively short amount of time.