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ORANGE COUNTY, CA-The average rent for an apartment here rose 3% in the first nine months of the year, a new report says, slightly less than the increases in neighboring LA and San Diego counties.

The 3% gain pushed the average rental rate for an Orange County unit to $1,204, according to RealFacts, a real estate research firm based in Novato. Rents in the LA area climbed 4% in the first three quarters to end September at $1,222, the report adds, while the average rent in San Diego County jumped an even stronger 5% to $1,075.

Though OC landlords didn’t do as well as their Southland neighbors in the first nine months of the year, they fared much better than apartment owners in the Bay Area. The technology bust and rising vacancies sent rents skidding 13% in San Jose, to an average of $1,690. Rents in the San Francisco area dropped 8%, to $1,867.

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