Five years ago, renting was considered much more financially attractive than buying, but home buying costs have since fallen by more than one-third (37%), meaning that buying has become cheaper.
Much of this about-turn is due to falls in house prices following the economic downturn combined with ultra-low mortgage rates in the low interest rate environment.
Meanwhile, rental costs have been pushed higher by strong demand in the sector, as many renters have struggled to get on the property ladder.
But a return to activity in the housing market has pushed house prices up, which means the gap between buying and renting costs has narrowed.
The research, by Halifax, found that UK-wide, people buying a three-bedroom house face typical costs of £672 a month, which is £73 less than the average £745 a month cost of renting.
In Scotland, buying was found to work out £27 a month cheaper than renting.
Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, said: "A combination of lower mortgage rates and declining house prices has substantially reduced the cost of buying over the past six years.
"Nevertheless, the number of home buyers in the 12 months to June 2013 was nearly half that in 2008."