The substantial decline in real estate prices paired with increases in rental prices, have made buying a home cheaper in many cases than renting. This is a huge factor in our investment thesis that real estate has hit the bottom. With rates so low buying a house makes all of the sense in the world, particularly for first time home buyers that have delayed their purchase due to the poor economy. What the United States needs is stability and consistent employment gains to complete the rebound. Higher gas prices and European turmoil pose threats to reasonable economic growth for the U.S. but if the global economy doesn't fall apart things could really start to pickup. The fact that analysts are projecting interest rates to begin rising sooner than the Fed's 2014 time frame could accelerate purchases as people become aware that they might be missing out on a golden opportunity.