Strong January likely indication of what to expect in 2012

With the national apartment market posting strong figures in January, data services firm Axiometrics predicts that the remainder of 2012 is likely to see the same level of high activity.

According to the company's report, the U.S. rental market should grow 5.5 percent this year. Month-to-month statistics from January show effective rents hiked modestly, while the national occupancy rate remained above 93 percent.

"If job growth continues on its recent pace, effective rent growth in 2012 could be even stronger than our original forecast of 5.5 percent," Jay Denton, vice president of research for Axiometrics, said following the report.

Four California markets - San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco and Santa Ana - had the best apartment activity during January, the report found. Conversely, Charlotte, Orlando and Phoenix suffered the worst markets in the first month of the year.

Despite several markets failing to improve markedly in any aspect of housing, rental managers are finding work in several areas throughout the country, even hard-hit areas.

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