Apartment rents will begin to grow “in earnest” until the second half of 2011, according to a Reuters report of a CB Richard Ellis Econometrics Advisors forecast.

“We still expect some weakness in rents and occupancy next year,” said Gleb Nechayev,” CBRE-EA senior economist said.

The U.S. apartment vacancy rate at professionally managed buildings will dip to 7 percent in 2010 from 7.3 percent in the third quarter and 7.4 percent in the second quarter of 2009.

Rents have traditionally hovered at 5 percent for such buildings, according to the report.

“We’re a long way from that. It will be at least a couple of years before we move closely to a more normal level,” he said.

Rents will drop 0.8 percent from the third quarter to $1,147 in 2010, the report states.