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Foreclosures, job loss drive affordability

Cheaper to buy than to rent in 18 of 50 largest U.S. cities

High foreclosure rates and widespread unemployment have made homes in some large cities more affordable, according to a study by real estate search company Trulia. The company has released an index comparing total housing and renting costs in September in the country's 50 largest cities. The index's price-to-rent ratio compares the average list price to the average rent on two-bedroom apartments, condos, townhomes and co-ops listed on Trulia.com. The five cities with the highest price-to-rent ratios were New York; Seattle, Wash.; Fort Worth, Texas; Omaha, Neb.; and Sacramento, Calif. The five cities with the lowest ratios were Arlington, Texas; Fresno, Calif.; Miami, Fla.; and Mesa and Phoenix, Ariz. "Higher prices of homeownership in cities like Omaha and Seattle reflect the fundamental real estate truth that people want to live where jobs are relatively plentiful," said Tara-Nicholle Nelson, consumer educator at Trulia, in a statement. Nelson is also an Inman News colu...