Call it revenge of the nerds. The top three rent-growth markets of 2013 all happen to be the nation's top technology Meccas: San Jose, Calif.; Seattle; and San Francisco, according to New York–based market research firm Reis. No surprises there, as the Bay Area is a traditional rent-growth powerhouse, and Seattle isn't exactly know for its low cost of living either.

But geeks don't have all the fun. Perennially under-valued Minneapolis charts in the Top 5. And Fort Lauderdale, Fla., once the poster child of distress, ties for eighth place in Reis' tally. The city's inclusion on the list is a welcome and unexpected surprise.

"Tourism in Florida has been on the rise for the past two years, which has helped the metro's economy," says Brad Doremus, a senior analyst at Reis. "This has surely helped the local apartment market, whose peak vacancy rate was 8.6 percent but has fallen to 4.1 percent."

The 4.1 percent vacancy sits comfortably below the current national average of 4.5 percents, he notes.

But maybe some of the list's inhabitants shouldn't get too comfortable: some fear a large influx of new supply could slow rental growth in Austin (tied for eighth), Dallas (No. 4), and Seattle, all expected to experience high inventory growth in 2013.

Here's the full list:
1. San Jose, Calif., 5.3%
2. Seattle, Wash., 5.2%
2. San Francisco, Calif., 5.2%
4. Dallas, Texas, 5.0%
4. Minneapolis, Minn., 5.0%
6. Denver, Colo., 4.9%
7. Portland, Ore., 4.7%
8. Austin, Texas, 4.6%
8. Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 4.6%
8. Houston, Texas, 4.6%