Fact: It's significantly cheaper to rent than "buy" today.
Fact: Renters today don't face the risk of massive asset price depreciation.
Fact: The housing crash won't be over until it's cheaper to "own" than rent again.
With the housing-market slowdown, tightening mortgage-lending standards and rising home foreclosures, renters are more easily answering the question: "Why rent when you can own?" Such a question was common during the housing boom, when homeowners, happy with the gains their homes were making -- at least on paper -- would urge non-property-owner friends to join the party.
..Home buyers who bought at the top of the market can find themselves with high mortgage payments for an asset that has lost much of its value. With the housing market in flux, it makes sense to hold off on buying, renters say. Now, these renters are asking, "Why own when you can rent?"
Housing-bubble blogs like Housing Panic and Housing Doom are full of anti-ownership sentiment from renters. Some renters are resentful they can't afford to own in pricey cities, while others are bitter that speculators drove up housing values in their markets. Some are irked that naïve buyers who bit off too much mortgage are calling on lenders and government for bailouts when, all along, they could have held off on buying a place.