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Trulia’s top ten cities to buy versus rent and rent versus buy



Best cities to buy and rent

Real estate search site has analyzed the largest 50 cities in America, calculating the price-to-rent ratio comparing the average list price in each city with the average rent for two bedroom apartments, townhomes and condos, and naming the top 10 cities best for buying and top 10 for renting.

The analysis is based on listings on and took into account costs of home ownership (including “mortgage principal and interest, property taxes, hazard insurance, closing costs at time of purchase and ongoing HOA dues and private mortgage insurance, where applicable. Total costs of homeownership include an offset for the tax advantages of homeownership, including mortgage interest, property tax and closing cost deductions”) as well as costs of renting (rent as well as renter’s insurance).

According to Trulia’s Social Media Guru, Rudy Bachraty, “we did not include appreciation or depreciation. The market is too unstable to predict right now. This is the current snapshot if you were to buy or rent today.”

Top 10 cities to buy vs. rent

  1. Minneapolis, MN
  2. Arlington, TX
  3. Miami, FL
  4. Fresno, CA
  5. San Antonio, TX
  6. Mesa, AZ
  7. Jacksonville, FL
  8. Phoenix, AZ
  9. El Paso, TX
  10. Las Vegas, NV

Top 10 cities to rent vs. buy

  1. New York, NY
  2. Omaha, NE
  3. Seattle, WA
  4. Portland, OR
  5. San Francisco, CA
  6. Oklahoma City, OK
  7. Kansas City, MO
  8. San Diego, CA
  9. Cleveland, OH
  10. Dallas, TX

Why some cities beat out others

“At the peak of the real estate bubble, cities like Miami, Phoenix and Las Vegas were not affordable for many. Now the opposite is true,” said Pete Flint, co-founder and CEO of Trulia. “Home sellers in these hard hit areas are forced to lower their prices to compete with all the foreclosures on the market. As a result, these unattainable markets are so affordable it makes better financial sense to buy than rent.”

Trulia offers a rent versus buy calculator on their website (click here) and plan on publishing the rent vs. buy city rankings in the future, most likely each quarter. To download the top 50 cities comparing renting versus owning, click here.

CC Licensed image courtesy of isherwoodchris via

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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  1. Greg Barnhouse

    June 3, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    OK, Dallas in the top 10 of Rent vs Buy . . . If that is truly comparing 2 bedroom apartments, townhomes and condos, and if it is only in Dallas, as in near Downtown Dallas, then maybe this dataset is reliable. If it is the entire market for the Dallas Area residential market, then I submit this dataset is suspect at best.

    I can see markets like Fresno, Miami, Mesa and Phoenix, AZ in the buy vs rent category as they were obviously “pounded” the last few years. But, Dallas? Dalas has held its ground fairly well during the downturn.

    It would be great if Trulia would qualify their market data for improved granularity . . .

  2. Joe Loomer

    June 4, 2010 at 6:37 am

    Ditto what Greg said at the end of his comments. I’m not a big fan of Trulia or Zillow “reports.” Zillow’s own explanation of their “Zestimates” proposes that their “A” data properties only have a 7.5% margin of error. Anywhoo, I’m surprised there aren’t more Southern locales on the list with prices the way they are in the Atlanta area.

  3. Roscoe Properties

    June 4, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    I personally thought Dallas would be higher in the rankings regarding rent vs buy.

  4. San Diego Real Estate

    July 3, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    San Diego homes are at their most affordable prices in decades, yet the research says rent instead of buy? I guess there will be a lot of eternal renters who follow that advice.

  5. Kevin Tomlinson

    September 15, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Exactly how does “Trulia” know?

  6. Allan Kleer

    October 14, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    I use recent and REAL rental and sales examples from Miami Beach’s waterfront condo buildings (The Continuum, The Murano Grande, Icon South Beach, The Bentley Bay, and The Floridian) to analyze South Beach’s rent vs. Buy market Index as outlined by Trulia.

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Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?



Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.



aging housing inventory

aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.



zillow move

zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub,, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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