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Pittsburgh --- BUY
Home price gains needed to make buying a better deal: 3.15%
Historical average gain: 3.91%

As Pittsburgh transitioned from the heart of the steel industry to a more varied economy, population growth slowed, and home prices fell. The current median is just $130,000 and sale prices are about 22 times annual rent.

At that level, it's hard to find a rental cheap enough to make financial sense. Metro area home prices have long-term appreciation rates of nearly 4%, easily exceeding the rate needed to make purchasing the better option.

Last updated May 13 2011: 12:43 PM ET
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