Rent or Buy? 10 Cities Where It's Better to Rent

by Ilyce Glink for CBS MoneyWatch.com

There are so many great cities in which to rent rather than buy a home right now, and for not all that much money.

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The latest Trulia Rent vs. Buy Index shows that even though it's a better deal to buy than rent in 72 percent of the U.S. at the moment, rental rates are pretty low in most places.

Still, the study behind the index found that a "nation of renters has emerged as more Americans rent by choice or due to unforeseen financial difficulties." And yet, renting is only less expensive than buying in four of the cities covered in the study, including New York City and San Francisco.

But even though buying is a great deal, no one at Trulia is surprised that U.S. consumers are renting.

"Since the start of the 'Great Recession,' many former homeowners have flooded the rental market. Following the principles of supply and demand, renting has become relatively more expensive than buying in most markets," said Pete Flint, CEO and co-founder of Trulia, in a press release announcing the study. "Though necessary for achieving true economic recovery, stricter bank lending practices have also further aggravated the struggling housing market in the short term. Even highly-qualified home buyers face intense scrutiny on their income, savings, existing debt and credit history before they can get a mortgage loan."

The 10 best cities to rent rather than buy include:

  1. New York
  2. Seattle
  3. Kansas City
  4. San Francisco
  5. Memphis
  6. Los Angeles
  7. Fort Worth
  8. Oakland
  9. Portland
  10. Albuquerque

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