Calgary’s vacancy rate has jumped, but so too has rent.

In April, the city’s apartment vacancy rate hit two per cent, up from half a per cent one year ago, and rent for a two bedroom apartment took top billing in the country at $1,096, $21 higher than Toronto, according to a Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation report released yesterday.

Calgary Apartment Association’s executive director Gerry Baxter said fewer people moving into the city combined with the recent completion of a number of condominium buildings have created a surplus of available rentals and the rent increases have “been modest,” — up just $7 since October.


He also thinks the CMHC numbers are fairly conservative as many within his association peg the real vacancy rate near four per cent.

George Williams, who just found a place to rent after an active three-week search, said he’s noticed the market open up drastically since the last time he moved.

“The first time, a couple years ago, I probably called 50 or 60 places and never got a call back, it was that bad,” said Williams, adding he hasn’t noticed a difference in rent. “This time around was totally different, it was essentially my pick, I looked at seven and had other calls from four places.”