Bang for Your Buck score: 27.26 (out of a possible 100) Boston makes Zillow's list despite some of America's highest median home values because renting there is even harder on your wallet than buying a place. The median Beantown rental lists on Zillow lists for $3 a square foot, or nearly three times the $1.02 typical nationwide. Only New York and San Francisco rentals cost more. All told, Zillow estimates that Boston properties have a $2,404-a-month median rental value -- the seventh-highest level among major cities and almost double America's $1,293 median. Hub rental values have also risen 6.7% over the past year -- or more than triple the 1.9% U.S. median, as well as the sixth-highest annual increase among big cities. On the plus side, Boston has a 3.33-year break-even point for renting vs. buying. That's above the 3.1-year U.S. median, which Zillow researchers interpret as a positive sign for the city's renters.