The housing market has been through a hard time recently. Home values declined for several years, and many places are just starting to recover. Because of this, many potential buyers are nervous about home ownership.

It’s not surprising that many would-be buyers are thinking about staying on the sidelines and renting for a while. After all, to many people, renting seems far safer bet right now than buying a home.

Are you are wondering if you should rent your next home or take the plunge and buy? If so, you should consider a recent report by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) before you make your final decision.

The NAR released its quarterly commercial real estate forecast in August. In it, they predicted that apartment rents will rise by about 4% in 2013, and another 4% next year. That means the cost of rent is rising faster than annual wage growth and other consumer prices.

Construction has picked up, but is still not keeping up with demand for new apartments. Inventories of available apartments to rent remain low, while demand is high. Low apartment inventories indicate that we are in a landlord’s market right now. The competition makes renting difficult and expensive, and is keeping pressure on rents to keep rising.

In addition, owning your home provides benefits you can’t get from renting. If you buy your home now, you can take advantage of historically low mortgage interest rates, as well as bargain prices. Owners can build equity and get tax deductions. Owners also get the benefit of being able to renovate their homes to save money, such as making changes to increase energy efficiency.

If you are looking at moving to a new home, carefully consider your options before you make the decision to rent. It may well be a better option to buy right now, especially if you are planning to stay in your home for a long time. This could be one of the best times to invest in a new home.

Masha Halpern, Broker, CLHMS, GRI
Keller Williams Realty

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Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel Hill, Durham, Carrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Masha is a certified member of The Luxury Home Marketing Institute, participates in its annual Leaders in Luxury Conference, and works with The Institute’s thousands of members worldwide to share information about current listings.

Masha is also a certified member of Keller Williams Luxury International and is also a member of Cyber Stars International – Top Realtors Using Technology – a group dedicated to taking the best and latest technological advances and applying them to real estate advertising and marketing for her clients in all price points. Masha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting