Is this a question, or are you just making a comment about the current market in Woodland Hills? Given your scenario above, I would agree that it makes sense to rent the townhome in your example. My only condition to that answer would be: If that particular townhome is where you want to live. An analogy: If you want to buy and drive a Mercedes, but you can lease it for less, great! But don't end up leasing a Ford (or whatever car) if what you want is the Mercedes. The bottom line is that you shouldn't SETTLE for living somewhere you don't want just because it cost less (and you can comfortably afford something else).