Rental prices stable through 2011

Rental prices changed little between the fourth quarters of 2010 and 2011, according TransUnion rental screening data.

While information from real estate data firm Reis suggests that rental vacancies are at their lowest level in 10 years and some landlords are tightening their resident screening criteria, TransUnion states the national average rent dropped from $831 to $820. During the same period, average deposits increased from $269 to $284.

The company's report is based on data from rental property management professionals, who the firm says did not generally set higher rents. The report attributes this to the nation's general economic conditions, specifically high unemployment.

The report did note that landlords seem to be operating more selectively when they decide what terms to offer to tenants, a capability supported by the current high demand for rental apartments.

The trend was also not universal, as some markets displayed significant changes. In Denver, for example, average rents and deposits both increased substantially in the period examined.