Seattle -- BUY
Home price gains needed to make buying a better deal: 4.84%
Historical average gain: 6.06%

Technology has driven economic growth in this Pacific Northwest city, headquarters of Microsoft and Amazon.com. Home prices have grown quickly over the past 25 years, especially during the late stages of the 2000's boom.

The median price has since fallen 26% from its peak, according to Fiserv, making purchases more attractive. By early 2011, prices had fallen to about 26 times the annual rents. Seattle's price rises have been robust historically and for someone looking for a home today, gains would only have to near the metro area's normal growth rate for buyers to come out richer than renters in eight years.


Last updated May 13 2011: 12:43 PM ET
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