“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” –Wayne Gretzky

Hopefully, more people will be taking a shot at buying a home, with home ownership regaining its appeal as rents head higher. A real estate research firm reported average apartment rents UP 2.7% last year, while the national vacancy rate went below 5% for the first time since 2001. Increasing rents, plus very affordable home prices and near record low mortgage rates, have made home buying cheaper than renting in most areas, spurring on first-time buyers. 

A major bank housing analyst said apartment rental costs have historically been about 10% lower than after-tax home ownership costs. That difference began shrinking in 2010 and now apartment rents are about 15% higher than home ownership costs. A new survey found that twice as many real estate professionals, compared to three months ago, expect home values to rise. The housing market appears to be stabilizing as home sales trend upward and homebuilders are more optimistic than they’ve been in years.

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