This year’s selling season comes with an added dose of optimism due, in part, to the increasing cost of renting a home or apartment. A survey by research firm Reis, found the average apartment’s rent rose 2.7 percent last year and, in some markets, was up more than five percent. And, though historically renting has been 10 percent cheaper than buying a home, an analysis from Deutsche Bank found that the gap began closing in 2010 and, by the end of last year, renting was nearly 15 percent more expensive than buying. This, along with high affordability and low mortgage rates, has industry analysts optimistic that 2012 could be the first year since 2005 that the number of renters entering the housing market increases from the previous year. It is also one of the chief reasons for an increase in optimism as the housing market enters the spring-selling season. More here.