Boston Ranked Eighth Worst City for Homeowners

It's a surprise to just about no one.

In case you needed another reason to complain about housing in the city, here’s one—Boston was just ranked the eighth worst area for homeowners in the country.

A report by Bankrate.com revealed the unsurprising news. Analysts examined 50 of the largest metro areas in the country and assessed their homeownership merits. The report acknowledges that it’s difficult to generalize what it’s like for homeowners in every metro area, but laid out a few key factors for measuring how good or bad they are. Bankrate looked at things like property taxes, affordability, foreclosure rates, insurance costs, appreciation rates, maintenance costs, energy costs, and how rapidly rents have risen in the past six years.

Each factor was numbered on a scale from 1 to 10. Then they were weighed equally to create an overall average score. Unfortunately for Boston, that process put the city pretty far down on the list. At number 43, the Boston-Cambridge-Newton metro area was only a little bit better than places like Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. Portland, Oregon came out on top.

What made us so bad? Two things: very high energy costs and minimal home-price appreciation. On the bright side, Boston had a low number of foreclosures.

“Out of the top 15 metro areas, only one is within 250 miles of an ocean,” said Bankrate.com analyst Claes Bell in a statement. “Homeowners in America’s largest coastal cities face a number of challenges, ranging from sky-high mortgage payments gobbling up an outsized portion of homeowners’ incomes to high property insurance rates, especially in hurricane-prone areas, and our ranking reflects that.”

Don’t be so glum, Boston. The report notes that our low ranking isn’t an all-encompassing label.

“Just because a city fell low in our rankings doesn’t mean that all people who buy a home there will have a bad experience; nor does it mean all buyers in the cities that fared well will be glad they signed on the dotted line,” reads the report.

If only we could all afford to see for ourselves.


Madeline Bilis Associate Editor at Boston Magazine @madelinebilis
mbilis@bostonmagazine.com