The Best Big Cities for Renters

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

Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

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No. 1: New York 

Breakeven horizon: 5 years

Zillow Rent Index:  19.4%

Homes sold at a loss: 13.83%

Manhattan denizens may scoff at the notion of New York being the best big city for renters. They may also forget that New York City has four other boroughs that come into the rental picture. New York gets the top (or bottom) spot for a simple reason --  as with Seattle and the Bay area, buying a home here is so much more expensive than renting, even as rental rates rise. The Zillow Home Value Index for New York stood at $462,500 as of December 2012 -- a median home price Manhattanites only wish was representative of their borough.

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