Renters in Edmonton are getting a break now that the oil prices have dropped and the economy is slowing down.

The vacancy rate is now 2.4 per cent. A big change from one year ago when the rate was about 1.5 per cent, making rentals hard to find.  

According to city economist John Rose, some parts of the city had a zero vacancy rate in 2013 and 2014.

Rose attributes to the change to an increase in condos, townhouses and row houses and fewer people moving to Edmonton.

"This loosening of the vacancy rate, at this point, is suggesting to me more good news than bad news in the sense that it is containing housing costs in the Edmonton region," he said.

The softer market means landlords have to try harder to get and keep tenants.

David McIlveen, director of community development of Boardwalk Rentals, says they have to offer incentives.

"Right now in Calgary and Edmonton, you could get at least a hundred dollars off many of the suites that are available from what you would be renting a year ago," he said.

The situation is even more extreme in Fort McMurray. Apartments are going for $500 a month less than they did a year ago.

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the vacancy rate is just over 22 per cent.

McIlveen says apartments are going for $300 to $500 a month less than they did a year ago.