Posted October 07, 2009 by RentJungle

Knowing whether to sign a lease or a stack of mortgage papers is not always clear. But Rentjungle.com is shedding light on the matter with a new guide to cities that compares renting versus buying by considering the combined cost of average mortgages, taxes and insurance and comparing those to average rents. Much of this data is drawn from the over 1 million apartment ads Rentjungle.com analyzes each month. As of September, the best places to dive into the home market were Houston and Cleveland. In these cities, buying is 52% and 40% cheaper than renting. In contrast, the housing markets in San Francisco and Seattle are so hot that in the former it's 54% cheaper to rent and in the latter it's 49%.

Top Cities to Rent


Rank City 2 Bed Rental + Insurance Mortgage+Taxes+Insurance % Cheaper to Rent
1San Francisco1,8163,94554%
2Seattle1,1532,25949%
3Honolulu1,6012,81343%
4Anchorage1,1891,81034%
5Omaha7151,08234%
6Raleigh7741,16934%
7San Diego1,4742,22134%
8Albuquerque7521,13434%
9Colorado Springs7371,10533%
10Austin1,0031,44831%

Top Cities to Buy

Rank City 2 Bed Rental + Insurance Mortgage+Taxes+Insurance % Cheaper to Buy
1Houston1,20779352%
2Cleveland73952740%
3Dallas1,4081,01439%
4Detroit80461830%
5Chicago1,6731,30229%
6New Orleans1,05084624%
7Pittsburgh78864522%
8Baltimore1,13697716%
9Louisville7436819%
10Kansas City7877406%

In order to scour the million-plus rental ads on the Internet, Rentjungle.com employs innovate spidering technology that can detect both when new rentals come on the market and when rents for a particular property change. All of this data is analyzed and stored in order to keep users abreast of the latest happenings in the rental market. Trends can be tracked by city and by neighborhood, furthering the site's value to users. Lastly, users can see searches on an easy, interactive map that links to satellite street views. They can get an idea of what awaits outside their front window without having to physically visit the place--especially useful if they're moving to a new city or want to apartment hunt at 2am.

Beware of rental ad scams: Rent Jungle is a rental search engine for apartment hunters and is not responsible for the content of rental listings found on the site. Rent Jungle encourages you to use common sense while apartment hunting. Beware of fraudulent listings. Click here to learn about common scams.