According to research firm Marcus and Millichap, asking and effective rents increased in the Austin, Texas, metropolitan area were projected to end 2011 more than 3 percent higher year-over-year.

The city's rental market performed strongly in 2011, which the firm attributes to a positive employment outlook and limited construction of new units. Employers added 2 percent more jobs in the third quarter alone, a total of about 15,500. Given the impact a strong job market traditionally exercises on the multifamily sector, expectations of further job growth are fueling a positive attitude towards the coming year.

The lack of desire for homeownership nationwide may enhance this impact. In addition, Multi-Housing News notes Austin is expected to experience a population increase of more than 50,000 people, which could fuel substantial activity in the rental market.

Rental property management firms may wish to update their tenant screening methods and other procedures to prepare for the projected growth in business, in order to derive the maximum advantage from the favorable conditions.

According to Apartment Finance Today, Austin is currently experiencing record high absorption. It is also reported to be among the most popular destinations for private and institutional investors.