Annual increase: 8%
Average monthly rent: $1,716
Vacancy rate: 3.9% (5.3% in 2009)
Average concession: -1%
Multifamily market research company MPF Research named San Jose the strongest apartment market in the country in 2011. The metro area, which had the fifth highest rental rate increase in 2010 at 8 percent, is projected to see rents rise another 7 percent this year, projects AXIOMetrics. Unemployment in the area was an average 11.4 percent in 2010, according to BLS preliminary data, slightly above 11.1 percent in 2009.