The price of Houston homes increased significantly so far this year. However, rental rates in the area are also on the rise, which could make purchasing property a profitable investment.During the month of October, national rental rates increased 5.1 percent on an annual basis, according to a report from Trulia. This was paired with a 2.9 percent gain in asking prices.”For homeowners, rising prices add to their wealth and help bring underwater borrowers closer to positive equity,” said Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko.Rising rental rates have been an ongoing trend since the real estate bubble burst. Following this event, a greater number of households are forced to wait on the sidelines for their financial situations to improve before they make the transition to homeownership.On a local basis, rental rates in Houston rose 16.5 percent in October from a year earlier, the report said. Prospective borrowers who have enough money saved for a down payment should strike while the iron is hot, as owning a home is now more affordable than renting throughout much of Harris County.?? Real Estate News brought to you by 2M Realty, a true expert in the online real estate market.