U.S. apartment vacancies hit 7.8 percent in the third quarter, the highest rate in 23 years, according to commercial real estate research firm Reis. The rise may be attributed to the climbing national unemployment rate, which the Department of Labor said last week had increased to 9.8 percent in August. With fewer jobs available, rental demand decreased in turn. Asking rents declined 1.8 percent from a year earlier, and actual rent paid by tenants shrank 2.7 percent over the same period.
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