The Best Big Cities for Renters

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

Photograph by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg 

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No. 4 (tie): San Francisco

Breakeven horizon: 3.7 years

Zillow Rent Index:  12%

Homes sold at a loss: 16.70%

The City by the Bay took the crown as America’s Best City in Bloomberg Businessweek's 2012 ranking, thanks to its blend of entertainment, education, safety, clean air and strong economic base. San Francisco's median home value tops that of all the cities on this list, at $770,600 (the next-highest is San Jose, at $554,600). That's up almost 18 percent. Median rent of $3,281 is up 12 percent.