The Census Bureau has recently completed its latest calculations determining which cities in Washington are better to rent or buy homes.

The American Community Survey compiles a price to rent ratio — the median home value divided by the median annual rent —for all cities in Washington with a population of at least 60,000. There were 17 total cities in Washington that met this requirement, and price to rent ratio was determined.

The ratio helps to reveal whether is it better to rent or buy in an area. Cities with home prices that rise faster than rent prices can sometimes indicate a housing bubble, and it may be better to rent in those places. Alternatively, if housing prices are down and rent is consistently high, buying a home may be the wiser choice.

A price to rent ratio of over 20 generally indicates it’s better to rent, and a ratio of under 15 are likely better to buy. Kennewick currently is the best city to buy a home in Washington with a score of 20.6, followed by Spokane Valley at 21.6, and Vancouver at 22.1. The cities that were determined to be better to rent were Seattle with a price to rent ratio of 39.1, Bellevue at 38.5, and Kirkland at 34.2. The overall Washington price to rent ratio is 26.0, up 1.7 percent in the last year.

Here is the complete list:

  1. Kennewick: 20.6
  2. Spokane Valley: 21.6
  3. Vancouver: 22.1
  4. Yakima: 22.1
  5. Spokane: 22.5
  6. Kent: 23.3
  7. Marysville: 23.6
  8. Renton: 24.2
  9. Everett: 24.6
  10. Federal Way: 24.7
  11. Tacoma: 24.7
  12. Auburn: 25.0
  13. Pasco: 25.6
  14. Bellingham: 32.2
  15. Kirkland: 34.2
  16. Bellevue: 38.5
  17. Seattle: 39.1