TO RENT OR BUY: A Quick Price Guide To America’s 20 Hottest Real Estate Markets

san francisco bay

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It still looks to be a buyer’s market rather than a rental one, according to the latest data released by HotPads.com. The rental price for 2-bedroom units jumped 3.75% in 2011, compared to a 1.83% fall in sale prices across the top-20 most populated metros in the U.S.We drew on the median rental and sale prices of 2 bedroom units, and the rent ratio for each of these 20 metros to distinguish renters’ markets from buyers’ markets. Typically, a lower rent ratio would signal a buyer’s market.

Based on the findings, New York was a buyer’s market in 2011, compared with Los Angeles which was a renter’s market. 

Note: The rent ratio is calculated by dividing the median home sale price by the 12-month median rent.  All data is for two-bedroom homes.

[slideshow]
[slide
permalink=”detroit-mi-1″
title=”Detroit, MI”
content=”Rent-Buy ratio: 5.33

Median rent 2011: $860

Median sale 2011: $55,000

Source: HotPads
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e4bea50ecad04b360000000/image.jpg”
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[slide
permalink=”new-york-ny-2″
title=”New York, NY”
content=”Rent-Buy ratio: 7.74

Median rent 2011: $2,692

Median sale 2011: $249,949

Source: HotPads
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ec19640eab8ea4a17000048/image.jpg”
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[slide
permalink=”chicago-il-3″
title=”Chicago, IL”
content=”Rent-Buy ratio: 7.77

Median rent 2011: $1,597

Median sale 2011: $148,900

Source: HotPads
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e85b32e6bb3f7494200003a/image.jpg”
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[slide
permalink=”tampa-fl-4″
title=”Tampa, FL”
content=”Rent-Buy ratio: 7.96

Median rent 2011: $900

Median sale 2011: $86,000

Source: HotPads
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e0e04454bd7c83716010000/image.jpg”
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[slide
permalink=”miami-fl-5″
title=”Miami, FL”
content=”Rent-Buy ratio: 8.77

Median rent 2011: $1,750

Median sale 2011: $182,394

Source: HotPads
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4f0ca35deab8eab81400001d/image.jpg”
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[slide
permalink=”riverside-ca-6″
title=”Riverside, CA”
content=”Rent-Buy ratio: 9.00

Median rent 2011: $1,250

Median sale 2011: $134,975

Source: HotPads
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4bf159087f8b9a0a758b0000/image.jpg”
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[slide
permalink=”houston-tx-7″
title=”Houston, TX”
content=”Rent-Buy ratio: 9.03

Median rent 2011: $1,012

Median sale 2011: $109,700

Source: HotPads
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4f05fc56ecad041d0a00003e/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
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[slide
permalink=”washington-dc-8″
title=”Washington D.C.”
content=”Rent-Buy ratio: 9.07

Median rent 2011: $1,700

Median sale 2011: $185,000

Source: HotPads
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4f0ca0a86bb3f7d957000002/image.jpg”
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”minneapolis-mn-9″
title=”Minneapolis, MN”
content=”Rent-Buy ratio: 9.52

Median rent 2011: $1,050

Median sale 2011: $120,000

Source: HotPads
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4c1a3d997f8b9aa40ed30000/image.jpg”
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[slide
permalink=”atlanta-ga-10″
title=”Atlanta, GA”
content=”Rent-Buy ratio: 9.73

Median rent 2011: $899

Median sale 2011: $105,000

Source: HotPads
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4f07726b6bb3f7e64a000000/image.jpg”
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”boston-ma-11″
title=”Boston, MA”
content=”Rent-Buy ratio: 9.90

Median rent 2011: $1,925

Median sale 2011: $229,450

Source: HotPads
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4eeb8edeecad044802000005/image.jpg”
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”dallas-tx-12″
title=”Dallas, TX”
content=”Rent-Buy ratio: 10.11

Median rent 2011: $984

Median sale 2011: $119,450

Source: HotPads
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b97904d7f8b9add4c110100/image.jpg”
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”st-louis-mo-13″
title=”St. Louis, MO”
content=”Rent-Buy ratio: 10.82

Median rent 2011: $797

Median sale 2011: $103,875

Source: HotPads
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4f0c8264ecad04d179000020/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
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[slide
permalink=”phoenix-az-14″
title=”Phoenix, AZ”
content=”Rent-Buy ratio: 11.11

Median rent 2011: $899

Median sale 2011: $119,950

Source: HotPads
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4f10d7e86bb3f7ee21000022/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
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[slide
permalink=”seattle-wa-15″
title=”Seattle, WA”
content=”Rent-Buy ratio: 11.33

Median rent 2011: $1,195

Median sale 2011: $162,517

Source: HotPads
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4f0311ececad04cc6e000038/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”philadelphia-pa-16″
title=”Philadelphia, PA”
content=”Rent-Buy ratio: 11.45

Median rent 2011: $1,200

Median sale 2011: $164,950

Source: HotPads
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4f0c80ac69beddfb69000012/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
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[slide
permalink=”baltimore-md-17″
title=”Baltimore, MD”
content=”Rent-Buy ratio: 11.95

Median rent 2011: $1,290

Median sale 2011: $185,000

Source: HotPads
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4ec56be36bb3f7fb3d000024/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
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[slide
permalink=”san-diego-ca-18″
title=”San Diego, CA”
content=”Rent-Buy ratio: 12.75

Median rent 2011: $1,500

Median sale 2011: $229,425

Source: HotPads
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e69f72c69bedd4d26000026/image.jpg”
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”los-angeles-ca-19″
title=”Los Angeles, CA”
content=”Rent-Buy ratio: 12.91

Median rent 2011: $1,710

Median sale 2011: $264,900

Source: HotPads
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4dd69be74bd7c8ac04270000/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
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]
[slide
permalink=”san-francisco-ca-20″
title=”San Francisco, CA”
content=”Rent-Buy ratio: 15.23

Median rent 2011: $1,600

Median sale 2011: $292,500

Source: HotPads
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4f0c98eaeab8ea217700002f/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
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]
[slide
permalink=”but-the-property-market-is-still-a-mess–21″
title=”But the property market is still a mess …”
content=”The 10 States That Are Still Getting Crushed By Foreclosures >
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e5bb3546bb3f7b609000008/image.jpg”
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[/slideshow]