Demand for apartments in North Texas was up slightly in the fourth quarter as apartment occupancy reached 93.7 percent at year's end, according to Dallas-based MPF Research.The company reports that new leases totaled 1,917 in the final three months of 2012, bringing the year's total demand to 9,382 units, up 2.8 percent from 2011. Apartment demand grew 4.7 percent in 2011 over 2010.Rents, however, have jumped 8.5 percent in the past three years, MPF Research said. Monthly rent averaged $853 at the end of 2012, it said."Rent growth proved pretty consistent across all product segments and most neighborhoods during the past year," MPF Vice President Greg Willett said. "The overall slowing in growth relative to 2011's performance mainly came at the top end of the market, as the best properties had been posting price increases of 5 percent to 6 percent."MPF said it predicts occupancy to hold steady this year and rents to climb about 3 percent.In 2012, developers completed 7,460 new apartments in Dallas-Fort Worth, including 2,857 in the fourth quarter. In North Texas, 19,930 apartments are under construction, with 12,816 to be completed this year, MPF said.Annual real estate forecastIt's time again for the annual Tarrant County Commercial Real Estate Forecast.Six commercial real estate professionals will reveal their predictions for the year at the 24th annual event on Jan. 24 at Ridglea Country Club, 3700 Bernie Anderson Ave. in Fort Worth.Ben Loughry, executive director of Integra Realty Resources DFW and chairman of the Greater Fort Worth Real Estate Council, will discuss how Tarrant County fares nationally; Susan Halsey, managing partner in Jackson Walker in Fort Worth, will talk about issues facing real estate markets; Drew Kile, associate director of Institutional Property Advisors, will talk about the multifamily market; Bill Burton, senior vice president of Hillwood Properties, will talk about the industrial market; David Walters, executive vice president of Jones Lang LaSalle in Fort Worth, will address the office market; and Chris Maguire, CEO of Cypress Equities and SRS Real Estate Partners, will talk about the retail market.The event starts at 7:30 a.m. with networking. Presentations begin at 8:30 a.m. and end by 10:30 a.m.The Greater Fort Worth Real Estate Council is taking registrations online through Jan. 21 at www.gfwrec.com. Cost is $75 for council members and $85 for others in advance, or $95 at the door. Student tickets are $55.For information, call Karen Vermaire Fox, executive director of the Greater Fort Worth Real Estate Council, at 817-480-1060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.Land sold at former AstroWorld siteFort Worth real estate investor Michael Mallick, whose Mallick Group bought the vacant 104-acre AstroWorld theme park site in Houston in 2010, has sold 48 acres to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.The Houston Business Journal reported that the organization paid $42.8 million. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year, the paper said.Mallick once owned the 170-acre former Masonic Home site in southeast Fort Worth. AstroWorld closed in 2005.Transactions4920 Overton Ridge Blvd., Fort WorthRally House Texas, a sports apparel retailer, has leased 9,228 square feet in the Overton Ridge Shopping Center. Jeremy Zidell and John Mathes of the Retail Connection represented the tenant.Charlotte Cooper and Michael Dearden of Venture Commercial represented the landlord, WCJ Overton Ridge 95 Ltd.Melbourne Road and Cheryl Avenue, HurstOcean Buffet has leased 15,000 square feet in Melbourne Plaza. Mitch Traub and Scott Rose of the Retail Connection represented the owner. Alfred Gho of Pacific Century Realty represented the tenant.1319 Minters Chapel Road, GrapevineAdvanced Graphic Technologies has sold 9.42 acres to DDK West Ltd. Joe Santaularia of Bradford Commercial Real Estate Services, and former colleague Todd Lambeth represented the seller. Doug Carignan of Jones Lang LaSalle represented the buyer.2550 114th St., Grand PrairieRJK Vending has leased 4,388 square feet of industrial space in Trinity West Business Park from the William J. Owen Trust and OMO Investments.Jim Ferris and Michael Spain of Bradford Commercial Real Estate Services represented the landlord. Art Rolader of Coldwell Banker represented the tenant.1161 W. Corporate Drive, ArlingtonSales Mastery Consultants has leased 3,800 square feet of office space in the Brookside Office Park. Tony Schifano of Schifano Realty Group represented the tenant. Cody Payne and David Dunn of Sperry Van Ness represented the landlord, Dallas BOP Llc.721 Keller Parkway, KellerI Fratelli Ristorante Pizza has leased 1,398 square feet for a restaurant. The restaurant was founded in Irving in 1987 by brothers George, David, Mike and Darrell Cole. This is their 11th Metroplex restaurant.Sylvia Pell of Pell Realty Group represented the tenant.