Annual increase: 8.1%
Average monthly rent: $875
Vacancy rate: 4.7% (6.3% in 2009)
Average concession: -2%
Recent occupancy gains in Portland have allowed owners to raise rents, according to R. Tom Smith, senior adviser with Coast|Sperry Van Ness Commercial Real Estate Advisors in Vancouver, Wash. "With private-sector employers no longer shedding jobs, the local economic outlook has improved, giving households who doubled up during the recession the confidence to lease individual apartments," he writes. Rents in parts of the Tigard, Oswego, and Wilsonville areas jumped by 9.4 percent in 2010, the biggest hikes in the area, according to AXIOMetrics. The unemployment rate in November, 10.1 percent, was unchanged from a year earlier, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.