Could climbing rent prices cause more people to buy a house?

With housing prices having fallen almost 33 percent since peaking in 2006, many homeowners nationwide have felt the brunt of the large price depreciation.  In contrast, rent prices have continued to climb over the past 3 years as former homeowners have switched to renting.  Could 2012 be the year during which the higher cost of rent causes more people to buy a house?

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