Smart Money in the Wall Street Journal predicts rents will continue rising at least until 2013. Nationwide the average rate for apartment and home rentals have been up 6.7% from June 2010. . In addition, vacancy rates have dropped from 8% to 6.2%.. It seems that more people are not able to qualify for home loans and are living in rentals. This trend is good for owners of investment properties and home rentals. For investors it's a good time to buy rental properties.