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The US apartment rental vacancy rate sank to its lowest level in over a decade.

The country-wide rental vacancy rate fell 0.1 percent to 4.2 percent in the third quarter, according to a report by real estate research firm Reis Inc.

The previous low point was 3.9 percent in the third quarter of 2001, Reuters reported.

The average effective monthly US rent in the third quarter was $1,073, an increase of 1 percent quarter-over-quarter and 3 percent year-over-year. All of the 79 markets tracked by Reis had rising rents.

“Demand has been so strong to push vacancy rates to such a low level, yet we haven’t seen rent growth of the magnitude we would normally expect,” Reis Senior Economist Ryan Severino told Reuters. Usually, given such a low vacancy rate, effective rent would rise by approximately 4 percent to 5 percent year-over-year.

“If median household income is growing at somewhere about 2 percent a year, give or take, once you back out inflation how much money is left for increased spending on rent? Not a lot,” Severino said.

The highest effective rent increases were in San Francisco (up 2.2 percent to $2,043 per month) and San Jose (up 2.2 percent to $1,686 per month).

New York maintains the dubious distinction of the priciest place to rent in the nation, with an average effective rent of $3,049 per month. Contrast with the cheapest city of Wichita, Kansas, where renters pay $529 per month.

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