10 Cities Where It’s Much Cheaper to Rent Than Own

ByDerek Mearns – Multifamily Executive Magazine

 As rents continue to rise and home prices continue to decline, the advantages of renting over owning is becoming ever narrower in many major metropolitan areas.

According to the latest data from Zillow, nearly 75 percent of the 200 metro areas it surveyed would see homeowners reach a “breakeven point” in three years or less. The breakeven point essentially refers to the amount of time a homeowner would need to live in a new home before the cost of owning become less than the cost of renting.

Despite these findings, the consensus seems to be that people are still scared to enter into homeownership due to a fragile economy. And financing is certainly tougher to come by these days. But that doesn’t mean homeownership isn’t gradually become a more viable financial option for the latest generation of renters.

Here’s a look at the top 10 cities where it makes more financial sense to rent:


Breakeven time (years)

San Jose, Calif.


Honolulu, Hi.


San Francisco, Calif.


New York City, New York


Boston, Mass.


Los Angeles, Calif.


Seattle, Wash.


San Diego, Calif.


Washington, D.C.


Portland, Ore.


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