The 10 Best Cities for Buying and Renting a Home

Happy couple buying a home in a new city
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Relying in your circumstances, renting or buying a home generally is a sensible monetary choice.

Homeownership may help you construct fairness and decrease taxes, whereas renting affords higher flexibility and handy companies.

Maintaining this in thoughts, SmartAsset ranked the 50 largest U.S. cities in keeping with the price-to-rent ratio. That is SmartAsset’s 2021 research on the price-to-rent ratio within the 50 largest U.S. cities. Learn the 2020 edition here.

To calculate the price-to-rent ratios for the 50 largest cities nationwide, we took a have a look at how the median dwelling worth correlates to the median annual lease. Usually, a decrease price-to-rent ratio means circumstances are extra favorable for getting a house and a better price-to-rent ratio means renting is favorable.

For particulars on our information sources and the way we put all the knowledge collectively to create our last rankings, take a look at the info and methodology part on the finish.

Following are the cities with the very best price-to-rent ratios — the place renting is extra favorable than shopping for. After that, take a look at the cities the place shopping for makes probably the most sense.

1. Hire: San Francisco, CA

San Francisco neighborhood.
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San Francisco, California, is the primary of three Bay Space cities within the high 5 of this research.

The median dwelling worth in that metropolis is $1,217,500 (the most costly on this checklist) and the median annual lease is $23,508 (second-highest after San Jose), placing the price-to-rent ratio at 51.79 (the very best on this research).

2. Hire: Oakland, CA

Oakland, California
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Throughout the bay from San Francisco, Oakland has the third-highest median dwelling worth ($807,600) and the seventh-highest median annual lease ($19,200). This places the price-to-rent ratio in that metropolis at 42.06.

3. Hire: New York, NY

New York City coastline
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The Massive Apple has the ninth-highest median annual lease ($17,796) and the sixth-highest median dwelling worth ($680,800). The value-to-rent ratio there’s 38.26.

4. Hire: San Jose, CA

San Jose California
Uladzik Kryhin /

San Jose, California, has the very best median annual lease within the research ($26,676). The median dwelling worth ranks second after San Francisco ($999,900), setting the price-to-rent ratio at 37.48.

5. Hire: Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles
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Los Angeles had the fifth-highest median dwelling worth in 2019 ($697,200) and the eighth-highest median annual lease ($18,648). The value-to-rent ratio in L.A. is 37.39.

Subsequent, the cities with the bottom price-to-rent ratio — the locations the place shopping for makes probably the most sense.

1. Purchase: Detroit, MI

Detroit, Michigan
Susanne Pommer /

Detroit, Michigan, has the bottom median dwelling worth in our research ($58,900) and the fifth-lowest median annual lease ($10,392). That places its price-to-rent ratio at 5.67.

2. Purchase: Memphis, TN

Street scene, Memphis, Tennessee.
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Memphis, Tennessee, has the second-lowest median dwelling worth after Detroit ($115,900) and the Tenth-lowest median annual lease ($11,076). Its price-to-rent ratio is 10.46.

3. Purchase: Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s price-to-rent ratio is 12.87. It’s tied in our checklist for the third-lowest median dwelling worth ($133,600) and has the fourth-lowest median annual lease ($10,380).

4. Purchase: El Paso, TX

El Paso Texas neighborhood
IflyAerialPhotography /

El Paso, Texas, has the third-lowest median annual lease ($10,164) and is tied with Milwaukee for the third-lowest median dwelling worth ($133,600). Its price-to-rent ratio is 13.14.

5. Purchase: Baltimore, MD

Baltimore, Maryland
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Baltimore, Maryland, has the 14th-lowest median dwelling worth ($179,100) and the Nineteenth-lowest median annual lease ($13,080). This makes its price-to-rent ratio 13.69.

Information and Methodology

Man analyzing data on a laptop
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To seek out the cities in America with the very best and lowest price-to-rent ratios, we seemed on the median dwelling values and the median lease for the 50 largest cities in America. We divided the median dwelling worth for every metropolis by the median annual lease for the town to calculate the price-to-rent ratio and ranked the cities in keeping with this determine. The town with the very best price-to-rent ratio was probably the most favorable for renters, and the town with the bottom price-to-rent ratio was probably the most favorable for homebuyers.

All information comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 1-year American Neighborhood Survey.

We used Trulia’s Hire vs. Purchase Index as a information for particular price-to-rent ratio thresholds: a price-to-rent ratio of 1 to fifteen signifies that purchasing is extra favorable, a ratio of 16 to twenty signifies that renting is often extra favorable and a ratio of 21 or extra signifies that renting is extra favorable.

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