2. Austin, TX Metro: Up 3.9%
You know a city’s doing well when the media calls it the “next Silicon Valley.” Dell Computer is headquartered here, and Apple announced this spring that it’s bringing a $304 million operations center to the area, along with 3,600 jobs. This spring, Marriott broke ground on a hotel that will occupy an entire block, and having the country’s fifth-largest university in town (the 51,000-student University of Texas) doesn’t hurt. The area added about 9,200 new jobs from June 2010 to June 2011. All of it has made landlords happy and renters fretful—the city’s rents are at all-time high, and occupancy rates are soaring.