Annual increase: 5.8%
Average monthly rent: $800
Vacancy rate: 6.8% (8.4% in 2009)
Average concession: -5%
The Durham-Chapel Hill metro, part of the Research Triangle area, remains a growth engine for North Carolina's economy. Major employers include Duke University & Medical Center, GlaxoSmithKline, and IBM, according to the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce. According to AXIOMetrics, there was an average hike of 14.4 percent in some areas in Chatham County as vacancies fell. The jobless rate in December dropped to an estimated 6.9 percent from 7.9 percent a year earlier.