Two years ago, as the housing bubble rapidly deflated, Forbes published a list of the Best and Worst Cities to Rent a Home. Portland renters fared well (though Forbes’ average rent figure of $772 per month seemed unrealistically low). I was then a very happy renter indeed.
Trulia calculated the price-to-rent ratio using the average list price compared with average rent on 2 bedroom apartments, condos and townhomes listed on Trulia.com. To create the list, Trulia analyzed the largest 50 cities in America, by population.
Here are the top 5 cities to Rent vs. Buy (price-to-rent ratio in parenthesis):
- New York City (33)
- Omaha, Nebraska (26)
- Seattle, Washington (25)
- Portland, Oregon (22)
Average list price for Portland, according to Trulia, is $307,858, and the average rent is $1145. With a price-to-rent ration about 21, Portland falls into the category where the total costs of owning a home in this city are much greater than the costs of renting. (Find more definitions and methodology details on the Top 50 City Rent v Buy Index – pdf).
When the ratio is less out of whack, I may buy some Portland real estate. But until then, I’m quite happy renting: no absurdly high monthly payments, no paying for major appliances and their repair, and I can (and frequently do) move when and where my whim takes me.
All while saving a lot of money.