Data showing the increased activity and profitability of the rental housing market continues to accrue, according to The Wall Street Journal. The recent announcement of a housing start spike led buy multifamily construction has now been followed by several indices based on average rental rates in Boston, Chicago and New York.

According to a San Francisco real estate company, rental listings in the three areas have each shown a steady increase in the price per square foot. The New York figures were surprisingly high, according to the news source, despite incorporating rental prices in less wealthy areas of Brooklyn.

Researchers found Chicago rental prices increased in four out of five of the city's most expensive neighborhoods. While it remained the least expensive city examined, average rental prices did grow, particularly in areas that were walkable, according to WSJ.

Boston rental prices rose only a quarter of a percent from the previous quarter, and the city's average rent placed it between the other two. It's more expensive areas maintained average lower than that of New York City as a whole, with submarket averages ranging from $1,139 in Lawrence to $2,766 in Kendall Square.

Together, the three cities show that rental prices, fueled by dropping vacancy rates, continue to grow. Landlords, rental property management firms and multifamily builders race to meet the growing demand as more Americans choose to rent.