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Houston apartment rents see the highest spike in America: Huge increases a new Bayou norm

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Houston, skyline, downtown
Courtesy of Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau

Forget the fiscal cliff negotiations. Let's talk about something that is hitting Houstonians hard just after the holidays — our leasing costs. 

If your rent got upped last year, you're not alone: According to Fortune, the Bayou City topped the list for the highest rental spikes in 2012, with a 16.8 percent year-over-year rise since 2011. 

With a vacancy rate of just three percent, twentysomethings and empty nesters looking for a decent space are willing to pay a pretty penny.

 The Bayou City topped the list for the highest rental spikes in 2012, with a 16.8 percent year-over-year rise since 2011.  

The median monthly rent in Houston runs $1,270.50 — although that's less than, say, Oakland (which ranked No. 2 on the list with a $2,017.50 median monthly rent and an 11.6 percent increase over 2011) or Miami (which took No. 3 at $1,900 per month and a 10.8 percent increase), it's certainly not insignificant. 

Each week seems to bring news of a new young professional-geared mid-rise or a luxury high-rise breaking ground, and a recent prediction by the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors points to rising apartment costs driving more Houston residents to home ownership.

Are you buying in 2013? 

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