According to a recent Business Week article, Cautious Buyers Squeeze Rental Markets, during the past three months rents are up across the country. The highest spike is 3% in San Francisco for an average rent of $1757. It's not not much brighter here. In NYC it rose 2% so far this year, for an average rent of $2657.
Of course, if renters are really paying attention to the housing market, they might want to look at what's happening in their own recently gentrified neighborhood- because if prices fall the competition for that 2BR rental is going to be fierce.