The Best Big Cities for Renters

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

Photograph by Asger Carlsen

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No. 7 (tie): Los Angeles

Breakeven horizon: 3.3 years

Zillow Rent Index:  2.3%

Homes sold at a loss: 24.86%

Los Angeles came in last in Bloomberg Businessweek's 2012 list of America's top 50 cities, dragged down by its poor air quality and high unemployment. Home prices in Los Angeles fell about 35 percent from peak to trough, so prices overall are more affordable, says Humphries. Still, homes are pretty expensive -- the median value is $399,800, up 9.7 percent for the year that ended last December. Meanwhile, the rent index went up 2.3 percent.