Short answer: no.
I just came across the article “Lessons from 30 Years of Buy Versus Rent Decisions”” by Beracha and Johnson (2012). Using data from 1978 to 2009 the authors conclude:
“…there seems to be an almost national obsession with homeownership, resulting in a paradigm that favors homeownership.
This work challenges this homeownership paradigm. Consistent with the hypothesis that Americans’ mania to own results in a crowding toward homeownership, the results of this article show that renting was preferred to buying, from a monetary perspective, during most of the 1978–2009 time period. This result is conditional on an individual taking any residual money from renting and reinvesting at a rate equal to, or greater than, the risk-free rate.”
However, the authors show evidence that buying was preferred to renting at the end of 2009. Separately, my research also shows the 2009-2012ish time frame was a good time to buy. Today is a different day. The Beracha, Hardin, & Johnson Buy Vs. Rent Index right now reflects renting is preferable to buying. Again, my own separate research reaches the same conclusion.
Beware of evidence-free emotional claims like “you are throwing your money away” or “buying is always better than renting.” So, the next time someone tells you “you are throwing away your money renting,” you can say the evidence reflects renting is preferred today and the majority of the time since at least 1978.