The typical rent for a two-bedroom rental in the Baltimore region rose 5 percent last year, according to real estate search site HotPads.com.
The company, which compared advertised rents for apartments and homes at the beginning and end of 2011, said that's the fifth-biggest increase among the 20 largest metro areas in the country. Collectively, rents for two-bedroom properties rose 3.75 percent, HotPads said.
Typical rent on a two-bedroom in the Baltimore metro area: $1,285.
Another view of the market comes from real estate data firm Delta Associates, which tallies only the upper-end apartment complexes for its rent measure but drills deeper into those numbers. (To get at the actual amount renters are shelling out, Delta accounts for "one month free!" and other specials.)
The company says average effective rent was $1,491 in the Baltimore region at the end of last year, up 2.2 percent from a year earlier.
The increases vary a lot within the metro area, from just 0.2 percent in Baltimore's northern suburbs -- basically flat -- to more than 8 percent in the city.
Because Delta focuses on so-called "Class A" apartment complexes, the area they're looking at in the city is basically just in and near downtown. Average effective rent there: $1,700 a month. Annapolis, at about $1,600, is the next priciest submarket in the region, with Harford County the cheapest at about $1,150, according to Delta.
Back to HotPads, which tracked all types of two-bedroom rentals: The company says the Baltimore metro area's rents were ninth-highest among the largest regions last year.
Highest (no shock): the New York metro area, at $2,653. That works out to nearly $32,000 a year in rent.
HotPads, which also tracks homes listed for sale, says the Baltimore region had the sixth-highest asking price for two-bedroom properties among the largest metro areas. (San Francisco topped that list.)
The company also looked at the change in advertised rents by number of bedrooms, but only among the 20 largest metro areas collectively. HotPads says studio rentals saw the biggest jump in rents last year -- more than 7 percent -- while asking rents for three-bedroom properties actually dropped slightly.