Edmonton's strong economy is making it harder to find rental housing because high migration numbers are driving down vacancy rates.

"When people are moving into the city there's an immediate demand for housing ," said Christina Butchart from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

"Because we're seeing higher migration flows and an expanding labour market we're seeing this tightening of the rental market."

The vacancy rate is just below 3 per cent. While the number of available vacancies has dropped since last year, it is still far cry from the one per cent rate seen during the last boom five years ago.

Still, prospective renters are having problems. Matthew Wood is moving from Ontario to Edmonton after his wife found a new job. However, his attempts to find suitable accommodation have been unsuccessful.

He says some landlords aren't interested in renting to him unless he sees the property first, which is impossible because he hasn't yet arrived in Alberta.

His wife will come to Edmonton to start her job and look for a place while Wood and their daughter stay behind.

"It's extremely frustrating because it's now splitting my family up for a month," Wood said.

There are places available but finding them is a matter of timing, said David McIlveen from Boardwalk Rental Communities.

"It's more important to look at the right time of the month and the right time is the beginning of the month," he said.

The start of the month is the best time to search because that's when current renters hand in the notice they'll be leaving.