While home sellers are cursing, landlords are clapping; the stagnant housing market has been a boon for landlords. Last year was a record year for rental absorption rates, which means that more apartments were rented in 2010 than ever before, according to a year-end report from GVA Marquette Advisors. The report said that during 2010 6,400 market rate units were rented; that compares with a loss of 3,450 renters in 2009.

GVA also credits improvments in the economy for boosting the number of new renters, who spent the last couple years doubling up in apartments, moving home or choosing not to move at all.

Rents have remained stable this year, but with not enough construction to equal new demand, expect rents to rise during 2011.

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Is the 6 percent real estate commission dead?