Santa Ana Rated 4th Worst U.S. City for Renters

Do you suppose city and chamber officials would mind if "Welcome to Santa Ana" signs included in small tape "the fourth worst place in America to be a renter?"

That dubious distinction comes from a study titled "Rental Bang for Your Buck," which names the five best and five worst U.S. cities for tenants.

It was compiled by a team led by economist Svenja Gudell and broken down in slideshow form by

Rental markets were ranked in the 100 most-populous U.S. cities based on:

  • Median asking prices per square foot for all rentals advertised on
  • Estimated rental value of a typical residence within a given city (including owner-occupied properties not available for rent)
  • How much each community's median rental value has increased or decreased over the past 12 months
  • Each market's "break-even period," an estimate of how many years of homeownership it takes before buying a place that costs less than renting

Santa Ana is sandwiched between fifth-worst Boston and third-worst Minneapolis.

Fourth-worst market for renters: Santa Ana, Calif.
Bang for Your Buck score: 26.92
The typical property in this community some 30 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles carries a $2,179-a-month rental value, the 11th-highest among America's largest cities. Santa Ana's rental values are also growing at 4.21% a year, or more than twice the U.S. norm. Similarly, the median Santa Ana rental lists for $1.68 a square foot, well above the $1.02 typical nationwide. "Santa Ana is an expensive market for renters," Gudell says. The 329,000-population community also has a 2.76-year break-even period for buying vs. renting. That's below the U.S. median -- bad news for tenants.

Numbers one and two at being worst are in Flordia, Miami and Hialeah respectively.

The best cities for renters, according to Zillow, are:

1. St. Louis 2. Fayetteville, N.C. 3. Virginia Beach, Va. 4. El Paso, Texas 5. Knoxville, Tenn.

Email: Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >