The housing market might be having trouble climbing out of its trough, but the rental market is steadily improving. Real estate research firm Reis Inc reports that the rate of vacancies nationwide fell to 7.2% in the third quarter from 7.8% in the second. But stronger apartment demand means higher rents. They ticked up by 0.5% during the quarter. Concessions are also tightening. Ilaina Jonas at Reuters explains the significance of the data:

This reverses last year's trend when many would-be tenants either moved in with their parents or took roommates.

The only other time Reis recorded a similar plunge in vacancies was in the third quarter of 2005, when owners converted rentals into condominiums during the housing boom.

Read the full story at Reuters.