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Real estate search site Trulia has added rentals to their search capabilities with a new search engine.

“With the burst of the housing bubble, more consumers than ever are trying to decide if they should rent or buy so we’re giving them the tools to make the best decision for their lifestyle, ” said Pete Flint, Trulia co-­?founder and CEO. “We saw the opportunity to take our world-­?class interface, advanced search, rich maps and local neighborhood information and make Trulia.com available for renters, as well as home buyers.”

Its a logical progression to see real estate search move from emphasizing sales to now include rental:

  • 40%+ of US population rents. Thats a large swath of the real estate market.
  • Unemployment remains roughly double the rate of two years ago and is expected to improve very slowly = rentals will remain an important component of the real estate economy
  • Rising foreclosures in 2010 will bring more rental listings to the market
  • Rent v. buy is something buyers wrestle with every day, especially with challenging mortgage underwriting by banks

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