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Buy or rent? 10 major cities

Deciding whether to buy or rent depends on several factors. Here's how the math plays out for some of the nation's biggest cities, according to Zillow.

Los Angeles: Rent

gallery rent buy los angeles
  • Median home price: $393,800
  • Median rent : $1,800
  • Breakeven time: 4.3 years

Even though home prices in Tinsel Town plunged by close to 40% after the housing bubble burst, homebuyers still pay a premium to live in the southern California sunshine.

The median home price in Los Angeles is more than twice the national median. As a result, it takes a long time for buyers to breakeven with renters. If they aren't planning on staying four years or more, they're better off renting, according to Zillow.

Although rents aren't that cheap, either. The growing population has put pressure on housing supplies in the L.A. metro area, helping to push rents about 30% higher than the national average.

Source: Zillow
- Last updated September 06 2012 10:47 AM ET

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