Fairfield County apartment market vacancy ended 2016 at a high level that would have been unthinkable here not long ago. The vacancy rate was 7.4%, down 20 basis points over the year on 1,032 units of new supply and just over 1,000 units of net absorption. The rate increased 100 basis points in the fourth quarter as most of the year’s new supply completed construction. The overall vacancy rate slipped to 7.3% in January 2017. Rents soared here in the 1990s, but they have been rising moderately since 2002. In 2016, the average asking rent increased 2.6% to $2,056 per month, and the average effective rent increased 3.1% to $2,013 per month, including respective gains of 0.3% asking and 0.4% effective in the fourth quarter. Overall rents edged up 0.2% by both measures in January 2017.