The best and worst cities for renting vs. owning a home


CLARKONOMICS: Buying a house remains the smartest play in a distressed real estate market in all but 6 major U.S. cities, according to a new survey from

The 2011 Rent vs. Buy Index identifies New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Memphis, Kansas City and Seattle as the cities where it makes more sense to rent than buy.

On the flip side, Miami and Las Vegas lead a long list of the very best places to buy. As you probably know, those 2 cities are located in prime real estate bubble states.

When considering whether you should buy or rent, the metric I like to use is how long you expect to stay put. If you expect to stay put for 5 years or longer, you should consider buying real estate at today’s distressed prices. All the better if you can find truly distressed real estate like a foreclosure.

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