Whether you rent or buy, you pay for the house you occupy. You must live somewhere and there's a price to pay for it. A simple analysis will show you whether it's cheaper to rent or buy.
Some people don't have any choice but to rent because they don't have the means to qualify for a loan. But for those who do have a down payment and good credit, they actually have a choice of whether to rent or buy. In some cases, owning will cost significantly less than renting.
Rentals are in high demand in many markets and rents are going up. People who have experienced foreclosures and short sales have increased demand. The first comparison a discerning buyer needs to make is whether the house payment is lower than what they'd have to pay in rent.
The next comparison needs to consider the other benefits that accrue to an owner such as principal reduction, appreciation and tax savings. These can dramatically weigh in favor of owning rather than renting.
Tenants have made the decision to buy a home. The decision currently facing them is whether to buy it for themselves or their landlord.