Where it’s smarter to rent than buy

For sale sign with sky in background

It's 36 times more expensive to buy than to rent in Manhattan's TriBeCa neighborhood, according to Forbes magazine's list of the neighborhoods where renting makes far more sense than buying.

After examining each ZIP code in the 40 largest U.S. cities, Forbes found that in some areas, people are paying a lot to own compared with what it would cost to rent a home.

Yes, home prices are down in two out of every three cities.

But here are the neighborhoods where property values are still so high that renting makes far more sense than buying.

1. TriBeCa in New York City. Condos cost less than in Manhattan enclaves like the Upper East Side, but TriBeCa's still no bargain for buyers.

2. Chinatown in Boston. With apartments priced near $1 million, it's 30 times more expensive to buy a home than it is to rent one.

3. Downtown Seattle. Rents are more than 30 times cheaper than home prices in Seattle's downtown, which retained high values as prices fell in other neighborhoods.

4. West Hollywood in Los Angeles. A central location helped give this Tinseltown spot a buy-to-rent difference of 30.2.

5. Mission Hills in San Diego, Calif. Thanks to old homes, new condos and proximity to the beach, homes have grown in price by $500,000 since 2003.

6. Outer Sunset in San Francisco. Prices have fallen a little in this ritzy region but rose a hefty $211,000 from June 2003 to March 2008.

7. Coronado in Phoenix, Ariz. The historic district attracts buyers hoping for a landmark home, which will cost them 27 times more than a rental.

8. Greenway Parks and Devonshire in Dallas, Texas. These two areas are next to two of Dallas' most exclusive neighborhoods, so the cost to buy is 26.7 times higher than renting.

9. Rose City Park in Portland, Ore. Historical neighborhood homes can be expensive, but bungalow bargains can be found for under $400,000.

10. Willow Glen in San Jose, Calif. Just 45 minutes outside San Francisco, a three-bedroom home can cost more than $1.5 million.

Our rent or buy calculator can help you make the right decision in any neighborhood.

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