01/08/2016 12:53 EST | Updated 01/09/2016 10:59 EST

Calgary Rental Prices Drop As Vacancy Rate Skyrockets

Jay Spooner via Getty Images

As Calgary's vacancy rate continues to balloon, rental prices in the city are dropping rapidly.

Rental rates on are down between 11 and 18 per cent, website owner Mark Hawkins told CBC News.

The site reports that the current average monthly rental in the city is $1,581. Shared accommodation averages out to $679, while an apartment is around $1,281.

Vacancy rate quadruples

Calgary's vacancy rate jumped to 5.3 per cent in October 2015, up from 1.4 per cent the same month last year, according Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

The country's national average for urban centres is 3.3 per cent.

It's a renter's market, which has some landlords struggling to find creative ways to rent out their properties.

A quick search of online rental sites turned up incentives such asreduced security deposits, free months of rent, free amenities like TV or Internet and even Visa gift cards, writes Emma McIntosh in the National Post.

High unemployment, too

Low oil prices is one reason behind the dropping rental prices and high vacancy rate, said Bob Dugan, chief economist at CMHC, said in a press release.

In December, Alberta's unemployment rate rose to seven per cent — a rate not seen in the province since 2010. Alberta's unemployment rate was 4.7 in December 2014.

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