The next time you write a check for rent in the Salt Lake Valley, keep in mind that you're living in one of the best-value areas for apartment living in the nation, according to, which reports Salt Lake City is the 10th-best city in America for renters.

The top places to rent, according to the report, are Columbus, Ohio, with a median rent of $626; Indianapolis, at $634; Kansas City, Mo., at $655; San Antonio, at $662; Cincinnati, at $668; Saint Louis, Mo. at $679; Cleveland, at $702; Houston, at $707; Dallas, at $716; and Salt Lake City at $726.

New York and San Francisco were the most expensive markets. A median unit in New York went for $2,922 a month in 2007, while renters in the Bay Area paid around $1,904 monthly.

The numbers were provided by California-based real-estate firm Marcus & Millichap. Researchers reviewed 2007 year-end rents in America's 40 biggest cities and then estimated 2008 figures based on a combination of vacancy rates, new-construction projects and job growth.

Vacancy rates have the biggest impact on price increases. Job growth also affects renters, according to Salt Lake City has one of the fastest rates of new construction, but it's not fast enough to keep up with job growth. The area's 3.1 percent increase in jobs is the highest of any city measured in the report and has resulted in a steady stream of new residents moving to the Wasatch Front.

That has put a pinch on the vacancy rate for available rental units in Salt Lake County, which was just 4.1 percent in the midyear 2007 report from Apartment Realty Advisors.