If you feel like your rent has gotten dramatically more pricey during the last few years, you’re not alone. Rental market analysis has shown that home ownership is down, and renting is way, way up. As a result, rental costs across the nation have climbed in a natural response to the flood of tenants entering the rental market. However, relief is finally in sight! Although apartment vacancy rates have continued to fall, a dip in rental costs is also making its way across the nation.

A rental market analysis released by the U.S. Census Bureau on April 16 found that rental vacancy rates declined from 8.4 percent in 2009 to 7.4 percent in 2011. While the number of vacant apartments has dwindled, the majority of major cities across the United States have experienced lower rental rates. This trend is usually opposite because of supply and demand, but depending on where you’re looking for a rental unit, you may be impacted differently.

Another report, Rental Housing Market Condition Measures: A Comparison of U.S. Metropolitan Areas, determined that individuals who are spending around 35 percent of their income on rent and utility bills are considered to have “high rental costs.” This means that if you spend 35 percent of your income on rent and utilities, you might want to consider finding a less pricey place–and now that rental costs may be beginning to go down, you shouldn’t have a problem scouting out a sweet–and affordable–place to hang your hat.