Of course, many renters are not in a position to buy. For one, it's hard to get a mortgage these days, despite low rates. And paying rent can push them further away from being able to afford to buy.

"Rising rents make it harder for people to save for a down payment, which is the biggest barrier to buying a home that aspiring homeowners face," Jed Kolko, Trulia's chief economist.

The nation's cheapest buyer's market is Detroit, where purchasing is only 3.7 times more expensive than renting.

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