``The report said that so far rents have increased only slightly with the average rent at $991 per month, an increase of less than one-half of one percent during the quarter but that some areas, especially metropolitan areas with high demand could soon be looking at double-digit rent increases. The higher rents so far are mostly the result of landlords offering fewer and shorter free-rent periods as inducements... A factor that may work in the favor of renters, however is the shadow inventory of foreclosed houses. Many of these are being purchased by investors for rental but financing them has been tough.'' -- Funny how (legitimate) fears of further price declines in housing are never cited as a reason people might be eschewing buying.

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