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Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries appeared on CNBC’s “Street Signs” to discuss the newly-released Zillow Rent Index, which tracks rental trends in 276 markets nationwide.

According to Zillow’s data, 70 percent of markets saw rent increases this past year, while only 7 percent saw home value increases. In markets like Chicago and Minneapolis rents are up as much as home values are down. This actually good news for the housing market. Stan says, “”While it seems that rents are rising at the expense of home values, the opposite is true. A thriving rental market will stimulate home sales as investors snap up low-priced inventory to convert to rentals.”

“We expect 2012 to be a positive year for homes sales and new housing starts… but the rental market is way ahead of that.”

Watch the segment here:

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