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Shaky housing market triggers spike in renting

By NBC News

Renting instead of buying a home remains a popular alternative for plenty of people not wanting of a mortgage that can go sour fast, especially with home values plummeting below purchase price.

"One of the biggest benefits of renting is flexibility," says DailyFinance.com's Catherine New.

New says although renting doesn't offer the investing opportunity buying does, renting for a while can make buying easier later on.

"For someone who's about to graduate I would say the most important thing is start saving money," she advises. "If one way to do that is to getting a good price on a rental and to start putting money into a savings account then that would be a good way to start saving towards a down payment."

New says the fact that it still takes up to seven years to break even on the costs incurred buying a home is making renting even more appealing in the short term.

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