Rent as % of after tax mortgage payment: 151.2%
Median home price change, 2006-2010: -33.2%
Many of the cities on this list now have the most affordable housing simply because their real estate crashes were so much more pronounced than elsewhere in the nation. The farther the prices fall, the sooner it inevitably becomes more affordable to buy than rent.
Atlanta is no exception. It tops the list with average monthly rent of about 50% more than the average after-tax mortgage payment. The metropolitan area had the dubious distinction of leading the nation in home construction during most of the decade before the bubble burst. Despite the fact that it now has the most affordable homes in the nation, however, prices continue to slide in Atlanta -- down nearly 14% year-over-year in February. When will those Atlanta renters recognize the clearance sale going on all around them?
(Deutsche Bank's study measures affordability in two ways: the share of income that Americans are paying to own a home, and the cost of owning vs. renting.)