Markets change which is why the real estate market is changing today. In the past few years it was possible to find financially distressed properties than could be rehabbed a rented and at a later date sold for a greater value. That type of market favors investors. It is not to say that opportunities do not exist. They are just harder to find. For some time the only new construction was rental communities.

As we enter a more normal market/economy, many of the renters will decide to buy. I know it is whit good intention to figure into the analysis of the renter reinvesting or saving money however I do not think many renters will voluntarily save money as they are forced to do in a mortgage.

Each individual is different and a lot depends on needs, life styles, employment financial situation and other factors.  So it is very difficult to make sweeping generalizations. I would advise buyers the proper thing to do is collect all of the data, make a list of the pros and cons and then make an individual decision.