Home price gains needed to make buying a better deal: 3.76%
Historical average gain: 2.58%
Houston is much like Dallas: It's one of the few major cities where the home building industry has been kept active, and the steady increase in new homes for sale has kept a lid on home-price gains. The median home sells for about $154,000. That's only about 17 times the annual rent on a comparable home.
Despite the relative low prices, the problem is the chance for gains. Home prices would have to grow more than a point faster than they have historically for buying to pay off.