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Rent Check

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While home prices in the West sink like a stone, rents in the region are rising like oceans, reports the AP. Latest data compared to a year ago: San Jose is now the West's most expensive rental market, with prices up 9.1% to an average of $1,660 a month. Average apartment rents also are above $1,500 per month in three other California markets tracked by RealFacts: Los Angeles and Orange counties ($1,651, up 4 percent); San Francisco/Oakland ($1,596, up 9.4 percent) and Ventura County ($1,552, up 1.8 percent). [AP]