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The Best Big Cities for Renters

By Suzanne Woolley - 2013-03-06T21:30:30Z

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No. 10: Nashville

Breakeven horizon: 2.6 years*

Zillow Rent Index: 3.8%*

Homes sold at a loss: 24.56%*

On the TV show "Nashville," country music star Rayna James's home is a 6-bedroom, 12-bath, 20,533-square-foot estate. In real life, the house went on the market with a $19.5 million price tag last fall -- a far cry from the Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI) of $140,000 for Nashville. With that number up 6 percent, Nashville's housing market has held up fairly well compared with that of Memphis, where home values are down 3.5 percent and rental rates are about flat, says Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries. The Zillow Rent Index (ZRI) for the city rose 3.8 percent. In Nashville, it takes just over 2.6 years before buying starts making more financial sense than renting.

*ZRI and ZHVI median figures show year-over-year percent change for December 2012. The breakeven analysis was done using data through September 2012. Home loss figures are for December 2012.