And you know what this means, right? Rents will go UP
Over the last two years, rents in all major markets have increased because people are renting more, and renting longer, in anticipation of even better deals and an even more severe housing "meltdown" (as this article predicts).
Apartment complexes now have far fewer empty units (if any at all) because a lot of people who normally would have bought by now are renting instead, waiting for things to bottom out completely before buying. Also, people who own homes but who have had to relocate are renting while their homes remain for sale on market. In the typical "supply and demand" fashion, supplies of apartments are lower, and demand is higher, so, rents are increasing.
I can't find the chart, but I think I remember seeing one online that said the average 1BR/1BA unit was going for an average of $700 two years ago and now it's in the $850 range, while 2BR units that were in the $800 range two years ago are now in the $1050 range. I would assume if this Yahoo article is right, rents can expect a further increase in rent prices shortly. Whoops.