Timing is critical when purchasing real estate. It is especially critical when you are looking to purchase a home and build up equity. Similarly, good timing can allow individuals to take advantage of a period where low rents abound. A ratio of home prices to rents could allow for one to make a better decision as to buy or wait. The Case-Shiller Index collects data from 20 metros, in recent years, the trend line has decreased meaning that home prices are rising faster than the rate at which apartment rents are rising. This is the result of an excess amount of new construction in the form of multifamily developments. Overall, the chart shows a balanced market, and ultimately buyers need to take other factors into consideration when determining if they should buy or wait, such as mortgage rates.