New York Is a Bright, Red Beacon of Hope for Renters

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Photo: Trulia.com

This Trulia.com map depicts America's 50 largest cities by population. The colors of each circle represent the city's rent/buy ratio; that is, the median sale listing price of a two-bedroom apartment compared with the median rental price of the same. (Two-bedroom condos and townhomes are included in the sample.) The darker the green of the circle, the more the ratio is slanted toward buying a home. The darker the red, the better off you'd be to keep renting. Beige is sort of in the middle, and the circles' sizes are based on how many people live in each city. As you can see, New York is much more affordable to renters. The median two-bedroom sale price here is $1.3 to $1.4 million (remember, it's median price, not mean). The median rent here for the same is $3,500 to $4,000. That's a yearly ratio of 31:1. Compare that to Phoenix, where the median sale price is under $100,000 and the median monthly rent is $500 to $1,000. In less than two years there, you'll have spent the equivalent of a down payment on rent! (Here it'd take you about three times as long.) Of course, this is nothing you didn't know or suspect before. But seeing New York as a lone, big red dot does put it into perspective a bit, doesn't it? As Curbed says: "Thinking of buying an apartment? Red light!"

Rent vs. Buy [Trulia via Curbed]