Whether you’re a recent college grad checking out options for your own digs, a just-married couple looking for a starter home, or empty nesters wanting to downsize, sometimes renting is a better option than buying. It just depends where you’re looking, according to SmartAsset, a personal finance technology company.

There are both pluses and minuses to renting a home versus buying one, SmartAsset says. While renting can offer more flexibility without the burden of mortgage payments, monthly rent payments do not build equity in a home. Then again, if the market takes a tumble, any equity in a home you own can leave you with a mortgage worth less than what you’re paying for it.

SmartAsset set out to determine which real estate markets were best suited to renting, rather than owning a home, by dividing the median home value for each city by the median annual rent as reported in the most recent U.S. Census data available, which is from 2018. The city with the highest price-to-rent ratio was the most favorable for renters.

Overall, the national housing market is more favorable for renting than buying, SmartAsset says. The national price-to-rent ratio is 18.09, indicating that on average it makes more economic sense to rent than to buy. 

SmartAsset also found that while California’s big cities are friendlier toward home renters than to homebuyers, rental prices are not necessarily a bargain there. Still, many of these large American cities offer diverse opportunities for personal and professional growth, making them a good investment for people whether they buy or rent their home.

Here, in ascending order, are SmartAsset’s top 10 American cities where it's better to rent than own a home.

10. Boston

Boston is the capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as well as a rent-friendly locale for thrifty homesteaders. According to the most recent U.S. Census data, the median home value was $575,200, while the median yearly rent was $19,764. Price-to-rent ratio: 29.10.