It’s a question a get a lot. Again the answer isn’t a ‘one-size-fit-all’ type thing because it depends where you live and how expensive it is to purchase vs. rent.
However, Trulia has a great infographic which helps visualize the issue. Looks like Austin pans out pretty well, and leans toward the ‘renting is less expensive, but it might be better to buy’ category.
More interesting is New York, where the average price to buy is between $1.3M to $1.4M, and to rent is between $3000-$4000.
Overall though, Texas is definitely in the ‘better to buy’ category as a whole. Play around with it, there’s some great visuals when you change up the the ‘rent price’ and ‘list price’ options as well.