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Renter Woes: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

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Blame psychology. That's, arguably, the primary source of home-buying reluctance even in the face of rising rents. So say real estate analysts in response to damning numbers from a new Deutche Bank report that show Chicagoans paying 40% more on average to rent versus own. Chicago's ratio is less favorable for renters than in most cities, but few are taking the plunge into ownership. The trend is familiar by now, and the best explanation is that people are seriously worried about further loss of home value, or, they're just out for the best possible deal. That, and the tight credit market are keeping prospective buyers in their seats. Our instincts for self-preservation may indeed be serving us well. With an abundance of foreclosures expected to hit the local market this year, home prices may depress further. [Crain's]