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Landlords Limit Freebies as U.S. Apartment Vacancy Falls to 6%

Rent increases replaced landlord giveaways as U.S. apartment vacancies dropped in the second quarter to the lowest in more than three years, bolstered by rising demand on the West Coast, according to Reis Inc.

The apartment vacancy rate fell to 6 percent in the three months ended June 30 from 6.2 percent in the first quarter and 7.8 percent a year earlier, the New York-based property research firm said in a report today. The second-quarter rate matched the first three months of 2008 and was the lowest since 5.7 percent at the end of 2007, the year commercial real estate prices peaked. Rents rose in all but two of the cities Reis tracks.