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To buy or not to buy? That is indeed the age-old question for renters who are flirting with the idea of homeownership amid fast-rising rental prices. But in today’s wild and scary housing market—where prices seem to have no ceiling, mortgage rates are once again climbing, and the number of homes going up for sale is paltry—the answer is a bit more complicated than usual. Check that: a lot more complicated.

Those renewing their leases are often slack-jawed as they’re confronted with steep, double-digit rental hikes—a huge change from just a year ago, when landlords were eagerly giving away concessions such as free months of rent to fill up their buildings. Rents surged more than 19% in the 50 largest markets over the past year, according to the latest data from December from®. That’s even more than the increase in for-sale home prices.

So does it make more sense to buy a home and lock in fixed housing costs before prices and mortgage rates rise even further? Or should folks continue renting while they wait for the seller’s market to (potentially) come back down to Earth? Conventional wisdom has suggested that it almost always makes more financial sense, at least in the long term, to buy rather than rent. But is that still true today?